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Scottish Salmon Wins Over Top French Chefs

The competition was held at the cookery school in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (9th December) and organised by the Association of Master Chefs of France, the most highly-starred group of culinary experts in the world.

Ten young students were asked to prepare a main course with Label Rouge Scottish Salmon that was good enough to take pride of place in a top French restaurant.

Michel Blanchet, president of the Master Chefs of France, said: "The Master Chefs have chosen this wonderful fish as the theme for the final of the competition because its texture, delicate flesh and unrivalled flavour make it the perfect ingredient.

"Our aim is to promote quality, tradition and the finer things of life. It is for these reasons that we selected Label Rouge Scottish Salmon as our trump card," he added.

In 2007, more than 1.3 million Label Rouge Scottish Salmon were exported to France. This equates to 900,000 portions of the fish being enjoyed every week.

Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation (SSPO), said: "France has the reputation for the best food in the world and its top chefs have chosen a Scottish product.

"It is a great honour and accolade for Label Rouge Scottish Salmon to be the main ingredient in this national culinary competition which recognises and rewards the best young French chefs.

"As it is the fish of choice for the food gurus in our most important overseas market and nearly one million portions of Label Rouge Scottish Salmon are enjoyed each week in France, the gourmet capital of Europe, it is tremendous recognition of its status," he added.

Mathieu Desmaret from Avignon in the south-east of France was crowned the winner by a panel of 14 Master Chefs. Over 150 student chefs from some of France's most celebrated cooking schools and colleges entered, competing to reach the final in Paris in a series of regional heats held throughout the year.

Scottish farmed salmon became the first non-French product and the first fish to obtain the French government's prestigious Label Rouge mark of distinction in 1992. For over 10 years it was the only non-French food to meet the quality scheme's rigorous standards.

To receive Label Rouge accolade from the French government a product must demonstrate superior taste. Independent consumer sensory testing is carried out twice a year in France. Label Rouge Scottish Salmon consistently outperforms similar standard products on the market.

* The Scottish salmon farming industry exported more than 10 million fish in 2007

* Some 53 countries imported Scottish farmed salmon in 2007

* Salmon represents approximately 40% of all Scottish food exports

* The worldwide retail value of Scottish farmed salmon is over �1 billion

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Tags: Chef , French Chefs , Label Rouge Scottish Salmon , Scottish Salmon

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