North West Young Chef crowns its first female winner

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th May 2016

Daniela Tucci from The Art School in Liverpool wins her first ever competition and becomes the first female recipient of Essential Cuisine's North West Young Chef of the Year competition. 

Daniela TucciNineteen year old Daniela from Merseyside fended off tough competition from five other contestants to be crowned this year's champion at the final held at Manchester college on Tuesday, 10 May.

The six finalists were given two and a half hours to create a three course meal for two people featuring local and seasonal produce. Daniela’s winning three-course menu consisted of Claremont Farm asparagus, poached egg and classic Hollandaise sauce starter; Callum’s Blackface Suffolk Lamb with spring cabbage parcel, caramelised onion puree, Heritage carrots, peas & beets main; and a dessert of Wild strawberry basket with Basil, “Two Cathedrals Honey” and Balsamic.

Speaking about her win Daniela said: ‘I feel so happy! I came today with the attitude as long as I do my best I really didn’t mind the outcome, but to win is amazing. It was probably the most stressed I have ever been in my life, but it is all worth it now.”

She also paid tribute to The Art School proprietor, Paul Askew, and her mentor at The City of Liverpool College. Siobhan Sweet, for their “time, help and support” throughout the process. 

Chairman of judges, award winning Master Chef of Great Britain, Brian Mellor said: “Daniela demonstrated great calm and at a time of great pressure, she was cooking with a smile on her face. Her dessert is really what put her ahead of the rest – it was exceptional.”

Fellow judge and Essential Cuisine MD Nigel Crane said: “Very well done to Daniela, her skill and coolness told on the day – a fantastic menu executed perfectly.  In Paul and Siobhan she has two amazing mentors – any young chef would be proud of such support and I know they’re very proud of her.”

On winning the competition Daniela will receive £500 and an automatic qualification into the semi-finals of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year competition, where she will square off against the best young chefs from the rest of the country.

The finalists in full:

Winner: Merseyside Winner – Daniela Tucci, aged 19, from The Art School Restaurant

Runner-up: Greater Manchester Winner – Steven Halligan, aged 22, from Mr Cooper’s House & Garden at the Midland Hotel

Lancashire Heat Winner - Liam Anderson, aged 19, from Freemasons at Wiswell

Cheshire Heat Winner – Krzysztof Borowiak, aged 22, from YU Alderley Edge

Shropshire Heat Winner – Michael Burgess, aged 17, from Albright Hussey Manor Hotel

Cumbria Heat Winner – Ryan Lee, aged 20, from Rothay Manor

Essential Cuisine’s North West Young Chef Competition invites young chefs under the age of 23 from Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire to compete against each other in a two and a half hour cook off to produce a three course meal for two people featuring local and seasonal produce.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th May 2016

North West Young Chef crowns its first female winner