In this blog we would like to say how proud we are of our very own chef Arkadiusz Swider, who has recently been awarded third place in the Young Highland Chef of the Year Awards 2014. The Young Highland Chef awards are an initiative of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and their partners the Albert Roux Consultancy. Since 2009, the awards have given talented young Scottish chefs the opportunity to play their skills against contestants before a panel of professional judges, led by Double Michelin star chef Albert Roux.
Twenty-six-year-old Arkadiusz faced some very stiff competition from other young chefs in qualifying for the contest, and so we were delighted when we heard he had been selected as one of the six finalists. For the final contest on 28th October, Arkadiusz had to travel to the Burghfield House Hotel in Dornoch to participate in a cook-off in front of a live panel of judges with his five fellow-finalists. Apart from Albert Roux himself, the panel included heavyweight chefs such as Andrew Fairlie from the Gleneagles Hotel, Brian Maule of the Chardon d’Or in Glasgow and Glen Watson of The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield. As third placed winner, Arkadiusz received a prize of £100 and some well-deserved recognition from leaders in the hospitality industry that we know will stand him in good stead for his future career.
Arkadiusz came back exhausted, but justly proud of his sterling performance in the prestigious awards. It just goes to prove what we at the Kingsmills knew all along – that Arkadiusz is a creative, passionate and exceptionally talented young chef. He is a pleasure to work with, and we consider ourselves very lucky to have him as part of the team. Well done!