A COOK-OFF with some of Scotland’s best junior chefs later this month will see if Amy French has done enough to be crowned Scottish Chefs Young Chef of the Year.

The 19-year-old, from North Berwick, is currently studying an SVQ level six in professional cookery at Edinburgh College and is one of eight competitors vying for the title.

She was named a finalist after impressing judges with a menu she created that incorporates skills and dishes learned during her studies.

Later this month, she will compete in a two-and-a-half-hour cook-off event with seven other junior chefs from across Scotland, where she will deliver four servings of her three-course menu.

Amys salmon starter

Amy's salmon starter

She will make a salmon ceviche starter, a rack of lamb French trimmed with a pea custard, pea puree, pommes Anna and a red wine jus for her main; and a compressed choux pastry with chocolate orange ganache for dessert.

A chef de partie at Archerfield Walled Garden, Amy is due to complete the cook-off competition on April 27 at West Lothian College, with all the necessary health and safety guidelines in place.

Amy, who lives on Eastfield Road, attended North Berwick High School before leaving in 2018 to start her journey at Edinburgh College.

Amy French

Amy French

She said: “I’m really excited to have been chosen to compete for Young Chef of the Year. I didn’t expect to be selected but now I am, I’m looking forward to the event.

“I’ve seen fellow students excel at competitions in the past and that spurred me on to take part myself to put my skills to the test but also to help me grow as a chef.

“There are some elements of my menu which I hadn’t done before, but I had been inspired by MasterChef and wanted to try new things and add them to my menu – the ceviche in particular was something I wanted to incorporate.

“I’m a little bit nervous but I have been practicing at home and working on things all the time – to make it the best it can be ahead of the big day.”

As well as the Young Scottish Chef of the Year trophy, the winner will also receive £250, a set of knives, work experience at a prestigious UK Michelin restaurant, two days’ butchery training, a certificate and a medal.

Runners-up will also receive cash prizes and a signed book from Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin, who runs The Bonnie Badger in Gullane.

Keri Dewar, Edinburgh College professional cookery lecturer, said: “We’re delighted Amy has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Young Chef of the Year competition – we know Amy will do Edinburgh College proud.

“Amy is a very talented young chef who works hard and is eager to learn and develop all the time – that will stand her in good stead for the competition and also her career in cookery and hospitality.

“We all wish Amy the best of luck in the competition and can’t wait to see her in action.”