North-east student reaches final of UK wide risotto competition

© SuppliedNicole Laing is in the finals of Young Risotto Chef of the Year.
Nicole Laing is in the finals of Young Risotto Chef of the Year.

A north-east student has made it to the final of a UK-wide cookery competition with her Scots take on an Italian classic.

Nicole Laing studies Professional Food & Beverage Service at Moray College UHI and has been chosen as one of nine finalists in the Young Risotto Chef of the Year contest, open to individuals aged between 18 and 25.

She impressed judges thanks to her very Scottish dish, which added haggis, black pudding and parsnip to the classic recipe.

Ms Laing will now take part in a cook-off on January 21 in London which will be judged by a panel of five professional chefs.

The winner of the competition will receive a three-day work experience at Angela Hartnett’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Mayfair, while their risotto will feature on the menu at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant for one week.

Ms Laing said: “My lecturer encouraged me to apply so I started researching recipes as I wanted to incorporate a Scottish delicacy into the traditional Italian dish.

“I’ve only been at college since September but in that time I’ve learned so much.

“I am looking forward to meeting all the other contestants and to see all the variations of risotto.”