Students up their game to win

Billy Brogan (catering student winner, from Coldstream), Lorna Robertson (host) and Finlay Knox (gamekeeping student winner, from Kelso)
Billy Brogan (catering student winner, from Coldstream), Lorna Robertson (host) and Finlay Knox (gamekeeping student winner, from Kelso)

Borders College catering and gamekeeping students were victorious in a Field to Fork ‘Celebration of Game’ challenge hosted by MasterChef finalist Lorna Robertson.

Billy Brogan (Coldstream) teamed up with Finlay Knox (Kelso) to bag first prize in the competition which involved 12 students from catering and gamekeeping courses at Borders College, SRUC Elmwood and North Highland College UHI working in pairs over the preceding months to learn about each other’s industry before producing and serving dishes of their own design, in celebration of game and fresh local produce.

Each finalist’s starter was served in a ‘trio of finalists’ dish, including suet crust game pie, grouse and loin of rabbit. Tables were dressed with creative reference to gamekeeping with polished shotgun handles holding the table numbers, adorned by upcycled used shotgun cartridges fashioned into decorative lights – all created by gamekeeping programme Leader Andy Winwood.

Recipe cards were also produced in collaboration with Borders College graphic design students.

Having worked with game as an ingredient throughout MasterChef and using it in her own cooking, Lorna Robertson is familiar with what makes a great game dish and she also empathised with the finalists, following her own experience of being judged in a cooking contest, saying: “I just wanted everyone to do well!”

Lorna’s fellow judges, Nicolle Hamilton, Pete Moore and Catriona Frankitti (Innes Ross) agreed that the standard of work from each college was excellent across all aspects, not just the food presented.

Pete explained that 2017 marks the penultimate year of the Field to Fork project, linking the Year of Food and Drink (2015) with the Year of Young People (2018) and culminating in a special dinner to be held at the Scottish Parliament in 2018.

Summing up the ethos of Field to Fork, Catriona said: “This competition has encouraged real inter-disciplinary working between curricular departments including gamekeeping, catering and horticulture, and the presentations delivered by the Borders College students were so good they could be lifted straight into an educational setting.”

Field to Fork 2017 winner, catering student Billy said: “Winning hasn’t really sunk in yet but we’re both really pleased.”