Professional Cookery student Beckii Goffe has won the final of a competition run by top chef Mark Hix.

Photo 2The contest was part of Lyme Regis’ Mackerel Festival and supported by Mr Hix, chef, award winning food writer and owner of the Hix Oyster and Fish House in the town. Beckii (16) of Sherborne was one of just three finalists who made it to the cook off on Friday 12 July 2013 on Lyme Regis seafront.

Beckii created a recipe for crispy skinned mackerel served with radish, beetroot and cucumber salad with foraged seaweed salsa. It was one of three personally selected for the final by Mr Hix, who chose the winner with Simon Bennett of the Watch House, Tony Colston of By the Bay and Lin Pidsley, Head Chef at HIX Oyster & Fish House. They chose the best recipe based on taste, presentation and creativity.

Mr Hix said “All three contestants produced great flavoured and well thought out dishes. Competitions are always tricky to judge, but Beckii’s dish just had the edge, not on flavour, but the ease of execution in a restaurant scenario and the simplicity.”

Photo 5Beckii said “I cried so much when I found out I’d made the final, I couldn’t explain to my parents why I was crying! The cook off was an amazing experience. I was shocked to get so far and then to win! When I was coming up with ideas, I knew I liked the beach and wanted to convey that feeling when I plated up the mackerel. I thought about colour, texture and taste and how they would work to bring out the best in the fish. I settled on beetroot because it’s a strong flavour and a bright colour. I’ve worked with fish before, including mackerel a couple of times, but this was the first time I’d had to make it the main feature of the dish. I’m so happy to have won the competition, it’s such a big thing and my parents are so proud. Thank you to Yeovil College for all the help and support. I’m really looking forward to starting my Level 2 course in September.”

Professional Cookery lecturer David Hammond said “Beckii has had a very successful year at Yeovil College, gaining a distinction for her VRQ Professional Cookery qualification and getting involved with many different events run by our students. She seized the opportunity to work with celebrity chef Lesley Waters recently and was highly commended for her efforts. With her personal drive and commitment, Beckii has achieved great results through her hard work and effort and we’re all very proud of her achievements this year. She’s done incredibly well to reach the final and then win this competition. Yeovil College’s Hospitality department always works closely with its suppliers and we’re very grateful to Samways Fish Merchants for supporting Beckii and providing the fresh mackerel for this competition. We were sure Beckii would demonstrate the very best qualities in a chef and that’s exactly what she did.”

Photo 3Beckii’s winning dish appeared on the menu of the Hix Oyster and Fish House in the week after the competition.

For more information on Professional Cookery and other Hospitality courses at Yeovil College, visit


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