Last Thursday at West Cheshire College 8 of the best young chefs from the colleges of West Cheshire and South Cheshire fought out the semi-final of the Taste Cheshire Young Chef of the Year competition.
The task set by the judges, headed by Harthill Cookery School boss, Brian Mellor, Chester Festival Organiser, Briony Wilson and Taste Cheshire General Manager, Lisa Edwards, was to create two identical dishes in 45 minutes that would be worthy of a restaurant menu. From these contestants 4 were chosen to compete in the final at the Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival brought to you by Allington Hughes Law on Sunday 16th April where they will be judged by Masterchef star Gregg Wallace.
Taste Cheshire General Manager Lisa Edwards was thrilled with the dishes cooked by the semi -finalists as she explained. “Our aim in sponsoring this competition was to shine a light on the outstanding talent within our colleges and to start to link them with the wonderful restaurants and pubs within Cheshire. There is a desperate shortage of trained chefs within the country and Taste Cheshire want to show the many young boys and girls just what a fabulous career being a chef is and this competition will help in showing just how far you can go in the industry and showing the businesses how by investing in this young talent they secure their future. Our thanks to the colleges in helping run this event. It is just wonderful”
Briony Wilson, Principal Organiser of the Chester Food and Drink Festival said that the standard was incredibly high “It’s hard to believe that the dishes prepared for us were at such a level. Our four finalist’s dishes would have graced the menus of most fine restaurants in the county and I am confident that our four chefs will star on the stage at the festival when Gregg and Brian search to find our 2017 champion. It really was a special competition”
The four finalists to cook at the festival are;
Richard Postles – 17 – South Cheshire College
Richard’s dish was Roasted Duck Breast with a plum gel, red wine jus and Olive oil potato puree
Matthew Evans -17 – South Cheshire College
Matthew’s dish was Chicken cooked 2 ways with pickled radish, mini potatoes, café au lait and crispy chicken skin.
James Higgins – 17- South Cheshire College
James’s dish was Pan seared venison with sweet potato puree, parsnip puree, a red wine jus and beetroot crisps.
Melissa Brown – 17 – West Cheshire College
Melissa’s dish was Salmon on Pancetta Risotto with crispy skin
The first final is on Sunday the 16th April at Midday with the second leg at 3.00pm. The winner will be announced after the second semi-final.