An Inspiring Master Class at Manchester House for 2016’s Finalists

North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Premium Supplier 28th April 2016

An Inspiring Master Class at Manchester House for 2016’s Finalists

Wednesday 27th April saw 2016’s North West Young Chef Competition Finalists attend an inspiring master class at Manchester House. The restaurants Chef Patron, Aiden Byrne, took the time to individually introduce himself to each finalist, whilst finding out where they currently work and their choice of menu at their respective heats.

On arrival all six finalists; Liam Anderson (Lancashire Winner), Ryan Lee (Cumbria Winner), Krzysztof Borowiak (Cheshire Winner), Michael Burgess (Shropshire Winner), Steven Halligan (Greater Manchester Winner) and Daniela Tucci (Merseyside Winner) were guided up to 12th floor of this beautifully chic restaurant to meet with Chairman of Judges, Brian Mellor, to discuss the days events, what they had achieved so far and how to be prepared for the final.

As Aiden was now prepped and ready for the master class to take place, the finalists toured to the kitchen and dining area of Manchester House to be met by Gary Apps from My Fish Company as he provided the seabass for the occasion. He informed the young chefs of how special and unique this fish has now become and has even been placed on the endangered list, however for such a special event he had brought a whole seabass with him.

Aiden delivered an inspirational and valuable master class as he cooked poached seabass, Wye Valley asparagus gazpacho and langoustine at the chefs table whilst the six hopeful finalists looked on in admiration.

The chef proprietor said ‘I started working in kitchens when I was 16, I’m 44 this year so of course I’ve had good and bad times but I had a wake up moment eating in a high end restaurant in Bilbao a few years back – during my time in there I felt intimidated and belittled whilst dining in this Michelin restaurant and it completely changed the way I look at things. A restaurant should always be a hospitable environment not a place where the customer feels privileged to be in there, I’ve been working in this industry for 30 years and I only realised this 5 years ago. I want transparency in Manchester House with nothing hidden behind the smoke, when my waiter asks me “How shall I describe this dish?” I tell them to let the customer decide, it’s not a script, it comes from inside what you take from the dish.’

When asked by Brian Mellor what advice would he give to the six young chefs, Aiden stated ‘You are the only investment you have in your future, don’t run for every extra penny you can get and always see the grass being greener in other kitchens because they’ll pay you an extra £1000 a year – work a little harder and don’t run before you can jump. I have never asked for a pay rise in my whole life and now I earn a lot of money and I have done it by working hard – don’t go looking for that promotion, it will come to you.’

On being asked about the effect of chef shortages by Essential Cuisine’s Brand Manager, Lucy Davies, Aiden replied ‘there is always a constant battle of customer and chef shortages, I had a bad time as a young lad in the kitchens so I try and make it nice for my team, we have breakfast together every morning and dinner at 5.30pm on the dot despite whether there is customers in or not!’

As the master class ended the finalists and their guests enjoyed a three course dinner cooked by Aiden and his brigade consisting of; cured duck, foie gras and wild sugar mousse, pickled plum, followed by the seabass dish Aiden had demonstrated earlier and finished with a chocolate, hazelnut, coffee and liquorice dessert.

All finalists thoroughly enjoyed the day with Daniela (Merseyside Winner) announcing ‘I absolutely loved that master class, Aiden was so inspirational.’

The six heat winners will now go on to compete in the final on 10th May at Manchester College, before the winner takes their place in the semi-final of the Young National Chef of the Year Competition. – Ahead of the final, here at Essential Cuisine we would like to wish all finalists the best of luck!