Hayley helps defend title

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A student chef from Cumbernauld was part of a team from City of Glasgow College which won a cook-off challenge in America.

Hayley McCook, who studied HND Professional Cookery, was part of a team mentored by senior chef lecturer and BBC Masterchef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean.

After a three hour challenge City of Glasgow retained the prestigious Atlantic Cup, victorious over Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College, one of the best culinary schools in the United States.

For the challenge the team had to plan and create a tree-course meal from a “mystery basket” containing blueberries, rhubarb, spinach, quinoa, chanterelle mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, duck and Maryland staple soft shell crabs.

Former Greenfaulds High School pupil Hayley and her team said: “The soft shell crabs were easy enough to cook, but because we weren’t that familiar with them we decided to break them down and pick the meat rather than serve it as a whole crab. That was a bit of a rookie mistake but the dish still turned out fine. I really enjoy working with seafood and game, so to have been given crab and duck was great. The duck was probably my favourite to cook.

“I feel like there’s always room for improvement so I’m never 100 per cent happy with anything. However, considering the circumstances of cooking under such pressure I was pretty happy with every dish and I was really proud of my team for the food we produced and for winning the competition.”