South West Chef of the Year announce two junior winners

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2015
The final of the South West Junior Chef of the Year took place on Saturday, October 10 at Ashburton Cookery School in Devon and for the first time in the competition’s history, judges selected two winners to take this year’s title. The winners were Andrew Callaghan, aged 15, of Clayesmore Senior School in Blandford Forum, Dorset and Julia Kwiatkowska, also 15, of Hayle Community School, Cornwall. South West Junior Chef of the Year 2015 winners – L to R Julia Kwiatkowska, Andrew CallaghanNeil Haydock, Executive Chef at Watergate Bay Hotel, who co-judged Saturday’s cook-off said: “The standard on Saturday was outstanding. The judges simply could not choose between two finalists and agreed that both were worthy of the title. Both young cooks demonstrated skill beyond their years and presented dishes bursting with flavour.” Andrew prepared a fillet of cod wrapped in pancetta, accompanied by leeks with butter and thyme, pancetta lardons with peas, black garlic and cider roux and mashed potatoes in rustic copper pans with a skin crisp. Andrew was mentored by twice finalist in the South West Professional Chef of the Year class, Brett Sutton, chef patron of The White Post, Rimpton. Andrew said: "Winning South West Junior Chef of the Year for 2015 has been a phenomenal experience. I would highly recommend this prestigious competition to all young, budding cooks out there in the South West. Even if you’re not lucky enough to win, I can assure you that you will gain an immense amount of experience and will see what life is like in the action of a professional kitchen. Brett Sutton, my mentor has been great and his support certainly helped me to win.” Julia presented bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with spinach and ricotta with fondant potatoes. Julia was mentored by Stephane Delourme, head chef at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Padstow. Julia said: “I am still in shock at winning. The competition was such a fantastic opportunity and I have learned so much throughout the process from the judges and from my chef mentor, Stephane Delourme. I still can’t believe I got to cook for such amazing chefs.” The Junior class is open to young cooks aged 11 to 16 years and involves three stages including two cook-offs. The competition attracts young culinary enthusiasts from across the South West. Last year’s winner GCSE student Melissa Johnson went on to demonstrate at Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink in April and continues to cultivate her cookery skills at The Salty Monk in Sidford, alongside her school work. Andrew and Julia will be presented with a range of prizes at the awards presentation dinner on Thursday, October 29 to be held at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Previous winners from the professional classes of the competition will prepare the sumptuous three course dinner.

>>>Tickets for the event are available here

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2015

South West Chef of the Year announce two junior winners