Students attend final of Field to Fork competition

Two North Highland College UHI students travelled to Edinburgh on Wednesday 16 January to attend the Field to Fork awards dinner at the Scottish parliament.

HNC professional cookery student Ryan MacNicol (27) from Helmsdale and HNC gamekeeping student Sam Lyle (20) from Fort Augustus were selected as finalists in the competition.

Organised by Scotland’s Natural Larder, Field to Fork encourages young chefs and gamekeepers to work together to devise and deliver a game dish. Ryan and Sam’s recipe, pheasant ballotine stuffed with wild mushroom and local sausage, was commended by the judges and invited guests. The pair were presented with certificates and engraved glasses by Great British Bake Off star Flora Shedden and enjoyed a tour of Holyrood.

Speaking about the initiative, Sam said: “The competition has been a great experience, it’s helped me to learn more about what happens to food after we pass it on.”

Ryan added: “It’s been really exciting to be part of this event. I learned more about foraged ingredients and hope to use more of them in my cooking in the future.”

Gamekeeping lecturer David Olds and chef lecturer Karen Higgins accompanied Ryan and Sam to the award ceremony. Karen said: “This competition encourages students to collaborate and helps to boost their confidence by showing them what they are capable of achieving. It also highlights the importance of knowing where food comes from and of making the most of local and natural produce.”

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