The hospitality industry trainer, Paragon Skills, was beaming proud recently as one of its apprentices came second in the Dorset Young Seafood Chef of the Year competition in Dorset.
Polish Tomasz Wenclewski, junior Sous Chef at the Alexander Hotel and Restaurant in Lyme Regis, beat other young hopefuls to second position after impressing judges Mark Hix, seafood expert Mitch Tonks and TV star Tom Cull with his dish of his pan-roasted fillet of sea bream with crushed new potatoes and black olives served with gazpacho salsa.
Currently studying with Paragon Skills for his NVQ Level 3 in Professional Cookery, 22 year-old Wenclewski was narrowly pipped to the post by 20 year-old Sarah Male of Perry’s Restaurant in Weymouth, but mentors at Paragon Skills were still proud of their apprentice.
“Tom has a real flair for combining compatible ingredients and flavours,” said Julie Hay, Assessor at Paragon Skills. “It is very rewarding to see such an enthusiastic young person achieving such a high standard. ”
The competition was held as part of the Dorset Seafood Festival, and included cooking demonstrations from Hix, Tonks and Cull, plus ‘fishtucker’ trials, fish filleting demos and live music. Chairman Roger Dalton declared the event a “huge success”.