Ryan Lee wins Cumbria heat of the North West Young Chef of the Year competition

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th April 2016
There could only be one winner and on Tuesday, 5 April twenty year-old Ryan Lee was crowned champion of the North West Young Chef of the Year competition at the Cumbria heat. Ryan DanielRyan Lee, junior sous chef for Rothay Manor and winner of the Chesterfield Young Chef of the Year, went head-to-head with former winner, Daniel Akrigg, who won the heat back in 2013. The two and a half hour cook off at Kendal College required the two competitors to cook a three course meal for two people using local produce. In the end Ryan's 'dedication and accuracy' of his menu won over the judges on the day soaring him through to victory. Commenting on the competition, Ryan said: "I’d only just moved up here and started at Rothay Manor on the last day you could enter for the competition so I figured I’d just give it a go and hope for the best!" Ryan’s winning menu consisted of; a starter of tea smoked duck breast accompanied by green pistachio nitro sponge, baby beetroot, fennel puree, port & star anise reduction. For his main Ryan decided to cook up his own take on Fish and Chips; Halibut, butter poached potato, crab emulsion, pea puree, tuile batter with tartar flavours. To finish, Ryan created a Snickers based dessert containing; chocolate ganache, burnt white chocolate, chocolate soil, pulled peanut sugar and roasted peanut ice-cream. dessertJudges, Brian Mellor (Chairman of Judges), Jon Harvey-Barnes (Business Development Chef for Essential Cuisine) and Antony Shirley (Executive Chef at Seafood Pub Company) were impressed by the Cumbria Young Chef’s dedication and accuracy of his menu as well as his use of seasonal produce. Discussing his menu and the lead up to the competition, Ryan said: "Work has been really supportive, I actually wrote up my menu with my Head Chef, Brandon Shepherd, and we have had it on the specials board for the past few nights in order for me to practice. I tried to keep my ingredients seasonal to take on board the competitions specifications; we’ve started growing beetroot in Rothay Manor’s garden so I thought this would be a great ingredient to incorporate in to my menu. I aim to just keep practicing before the final and hope for the best. But I am going to simplify my menu for the final so there aren’t so many elements, therefore I can really focus on the quality of my dishes. I just love cooking and I will take that attitude in to the final with me." On the day Ryan was joined by Rothay Manor’s owner and manager, Jamie Shail, whom was keen to see his new Junior Sous Chef do well in the competition. ryan lee NWYCThe competition, sponsored by CHR, now gives Ryan the opportunity to attend a master class with an acclaimed chef to hone skills with the industry’s best. Following this he will go on to represent Cumbria and compete against the other regional winners in the final of North West Young Chef Competition, which will be held at Manchester College on Tuesday, 10 May 2016. Find out more about the North West Young Chef of the Year competition here: www.essentialcuisine.com/north-west-young-chef-competition/

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th April 2016

Ryan Lee wins Cumbria heat of the North West Young Chef of the Year competition