Keen cooks sought for MasterChef competition

KEEN amateur cooks with an appetite for some fun competition are being urged to step up to the hot plate and pit their culinary skills against the professionals in this year’s Orkney MasterChef event.

One lucky local gourmet will be selected to join three full-time Orkney chefs on stage at October’s competition – part of the 2014 Orkney Food Festival – and produce a meal using ingredients from the county.

Tickets for the MasterChef event, being staged in the Orkney Theatre on 1 October, go on sale this week with the show expected to be a sell-out.

Compered by BBC Radio Orkney’s Dave Gray, the event will see each chef prepare a three-course meal within a fully fitted professional kitchen, specially installed in the theatre by competition sponsors Jewson.

A panel of judges from the food and drink, tourism and catering sectors – along with some lucky members of the audience – will sample the culinary creations before the title of Orkney MasterChef 2014 is awarded to the chef deemed to have come up with the best menu on the night.

“We’re really keen for more local folk to put their names forward for the chance to join our professional chefs and take part in what will be a fun competition,” said Edgar Balfour from event organisers Orkney Food and Drink. “It’s very important to emphasise that the judging isn’t going to be as brutal as you see on TV, so folk shouldn’t be worried about that element at all. Instead, the event will be a celebration of Orkney’s wonderful food and drink, with a few laughs thrown in along the way.”

Mr Balfour said people wanting to be considered for the lucky local slot in the competition could nominate themselves on the new Orkney Food and Drink website at –

“Once we’ve got a good number of names in the pot, we’ll randomly select someone and let them know by the end of August,” he added. “That’ll give plenty of time for them to think about their menu for the night and try it out on friends and family before the big event in October. We’ll have some well-known professional chefs from Orkney taking part and we’d really love to see a good amateur up there giving them a run for their money!”

Tickets for the event, costing £10, will go on sale later this week in Argo’s Bakery shops in both Stromness and Kirkwall. They will also be available directly from Edgar Balfour by phone on 01856 761 430 or email and, from late August, from the Orkney Food and Drink website.



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