Organised by the Federation of Chefs Scotland and smoked fish experts RR. Spink & Sons, the inaugural competition attracted hundreds of entries from across the country.
On Wednesday 25th November, a gruelling live-cook brought together a shortlist of six finalists to compete for the coveted title.
In the end, it was Abroath-born Adam Newth who triumphed with his imaginative dishes using both smoked and fresh sustainably farmed Scottish loch trout.
Raised in the same coastal town as RR.Spink & Sons' ancestral home, Newth’s smoked fish expertise saw the judges remark on him having ‘a passion for trout in his blood’.
Just twenty-four hours after launching his first restaurant - The Tayberry in Broughty Ferry - Newth was delighted to take home the top prize, adding to a growing collection of accolades that includes Young Scottish Chef of the Year.
Four judges, including Ian MacDonald, Executive Chef at St Andrews Links and RR. Spink & Sons’ development chef, Scott Fraser scrutinised the chefs’ knife skills, presentation and creativity using sustainable trout.
Judge Scott Fraser extended his congratulations to Adam and the rest of the competitors:
“Adam is an incredibly exciting seafood chef. His craft skills – like filleting and descaling – are excellent and well complemented by an eye for colour and an understanding of seasonal cooking.
“Adam’s main was a very considered yet modern dish that incorporated an excellent selection of Scottish seafood. His trout was cooked to perfection; succulent in the middle and crispy on the outside.
“Congratulations go out to all the chefs who competed, demonstrating how loch trout can sit comfortably alongside some of the best produce Scotland has to offer, further cementing its status as one of our finest local ingredients.
Adam’s winning dishes were:
- Starter: RR. Spink & Sons smoked trout infused with Edinburgh Gin, trout tartare, brown crab potato salad, beetroot & wasabi ice cream
- Main Course: Loch Etive sea trout, sesame gnocchi, butternut squash, shrimp, and Arbroath Buckie dressing
Adam Newth, RR. Spink & Sons Sustainable Trout Chef of the Year, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have been awarded this title of ‘Sustainable Trout Chef of the Year’, it’s an absolute honour. In the space of 24 hours, it’s amazing what you can achieve as myself, and my fiancé Rachel, have just opened our own restaurant, The Tayberry, in Broughty Ferry yesterday.
“The quality of RR Spink & Sons fish is top-notch, and I’m looking forward to visiting the farm later in the year. Our mantra at The Tayberry is to be as eco-friendly as possible, making sure we use only the finest products and I’m proud to now hold this title.”
As well as being crowned 'Sustainable Trout Chef of the Year 2015', Adam will take part in a winner’s ‘stage’ – a three day experience absorbing new skills and knowledge from RR. Spink & Sons in house team, including time spent at Loch Etive where the company's trout is ethically farmed.
The six finalists and their rankings on the day were as follows:
● GOLD: Adam Newth of The Tayberry Restaurant, in Broughty Ferry
Starter: RR. Spink & Sons smoked trout infused with Edinburgh Gin, trout tartare, brown crab potato salad, beetroot & wasabi ice cream.
Main Course: Loch Etive sea trout, sesame gnocchi, butternut squash, shrimp, and Arbroath Buckie dressing.
● SILVER: Graham Mitchell of The Rox Hotel, Aberdeen
Starter: Trout tartare with green apple, parsley, miso yaki aubergine, and Katy Rodger crème fraîche.
Main Course: Pan-seared trout, smoked salmon, peas à la Française, pea purée, parmentier potatoes, BrewDog scraps, pea shoots
● SILVER: Peter Kikke of The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
Starter: Pan-fried trout with a wholegrain & Dijon mustard marinade, beetroot purée, salt-baked beetroot cubes, dill emulsion, cucumber-roasted cherry tomatoes, apple, nori, radish, wasabi peas and watercress.
Main: Pan-fried trout with Brussels sprouts & smoked bacon with burnt leek & char-grilled butternut squash, butternut squash purée, pumpkin seed dressing and shallots.
● SILVER: Bob Miller of The Rox Hotel, Aberdeen
Starter: RR. Spink & Sons peat-smoked trout and kiln roast salmon with horseradish and chive panacotta, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, lemon & mustard Ola Oil, micro parsley.
Main: Scottish farmed trout, sprouts & pancetta, beet-braised salsify, celeriac mash, toasted almonds, orange & butter reduction.
● BRONZE: Glen Yorke of The Scottish Crime Campus Sodexo, Gartcosh
Starter: RR. Spink & Sons smoked trout infused with Edinburgh Gin, cucumber jelly, plum tomato salad with lemon crème fraîche, sea salt & black pepper croute.
Main course: Seared trout on vanilla mashed potato, roasted vegetables, fennel & trout foam, artichoke purée and home-made tomato caviar.
● MERIT: Michael Knowles of the Loch Melfort Hotel, Oban
Starter: Cold smoked Loch Etive trout cannelloni, smoked trout, ricotta and dill mousse. Sea aster, sea lettuce, sea scurvy grass pesto, sea salt crumb.
Main Course: Warm terrine of Loch Etive cold smoked trout and baby spinach, squid ink tagliatelle, sun-blushed tomatoes, watercress & parsley dressing.