Student chef is among the UK’s best at national competition

A talented young chef from Clarkston was among the cream of the crop at one of the hospitality industry’s most prestigious competitions.

Nicolle Finnie, who recently gained an HND Professional Cookery qualification from City of Glasgow College and is now undertaking a degree in Hospitality Management, was a finalist at Young Chef of the Year competition, which was held at the Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia last week [Tuesday 4 October].

The former Wiliamwood High School pupil, who spent her summer honing her craft backstage at a number of prestigious events including The Open at Royal Troon and The Chelsea Flower Show, was given two hours to produce a three-course meal for two in front of a panel of high-profile judges and a live audience.

Nineteen-year-old Nicolle, who studies at the brand-new City Campus that forms the final instalment of City of Glasgow College’s £228million supercampus development, said: “I found out that I’d been selected as a finalist after winning a gold medal at The Skills Show in Birmingham last year. I’ve entered lots of competitions before, but I usually put myself forward for them and so it was an honour to be asked to take part.

“I’ve been spending any spare time I have practising at City of Glasgow College and at The Larder, the restaurant I work at in Bearsden. Regardless of the outcome, it’s a great achievement for me to have been shortlisted and it will be a great learning and training opportunity for me.

“The competition was an amazing experience and a fantastic opportunity. Although I didn’t win this year, the experience of coping under pressure will help prepare me for future competitions. I was pleased with what I produced and would love to compete again – and win – next year.”

The Young National Chef of the Year competition is an annual contest run by The Craft Guild of Chefs and aims to recognise and reward the most talented up-and-coming chefs in the UK.

Gary Maclean, Senior Chef Lecturer at City of Glasgow College, said: “Nicolle hasn’t even finished her studies, yet she has already made a name for herself in the industry by competing in so many high-profile competitions. To be a finalist in The Craft Guild of Chef’s Young Chef of the Year competition was an amazing experience for Nicolle and she will gain much from having taken part.”