SAYFC recently held their ‘Ready Steady Country Cooks’ competitions. Including the Highland area, held within Thurso High School, sponsored by Northern Sands Hotel and judging was down to Kelly and Wendy Mackay from KW Kitchen.

A total of seven teams took part in the finals during the National Competitions Weekend in Dundee. The teams had one hour to produce a dish that incorporated a bag of mystery ingredients, including pineapples, rice, potatoes, and diced scotch lamb from Castletown Butchers. Teams were judged on all aspects of cookery such as hygiene, technical skill, and teamwork all whilst producing a tasty and well-presented dish with no recipe.

Overall, the winners were Lyndsey and Abbie Dunnet from Halkirk YF, having cooked up crispy lamb and profiteroles, earning themselves 84/100 points.

The Scottish Farmer:

Runners up included Bower YF Abbie Gunn and Beth Douglas, who created a spicy lamb flatbread scouring 83/100 and third place again went to Halkirk YF with Erin Machenzie and Euan Bremner with a lamb and potato curry and onion bhajis to accompany. Local clubs provided good support to the competitors.

The Scottish Farmer: Third Place Team Halkirk B - left to right: Euan Bremner, judge Kelly Mackay, Erin Mackenzie

Judges Wendy and Kelly Mackay were delighted with the variety of dishes and how well teams worked together.


On the same day the SAYFC North Region Grampian area also held the same competition at Garioch Community Kitchen, sponsored by Hattoncrook Farm Deli and judged by Emma Cowie.

Teams consisted of members from Lower Speyside, Vale of Alford and Strichen Young Farmers.

Sally Mair, north chair, touched on the competition’s success: “Grampian Country Cooks was a great success once again. Following the St Andrews Day theme and supporting Scottish Sheep Farmers, this year we had lamb as our main ingredient. Wishing both our North teams the best of luck at the National finals in February”

The winners included Alexandra Greig and Jack Grieg from Vale of Alford YF having wowed the judges with their lamb kebab scoring 92/100 points.

The Scottish Farmer:

Following on in second was Lower Speyside YF with Maria and Rhona Rhind scoring 83.5/100 and third went to Strichen YF, Kirsten Craig and Isobel Short with 79/100 points.

Both teams will go forward to the national finals in Dundee in February.