North West Young Chef Facing His Biggest Year Yet

North West Young Chef Facing His Biggest Year Yet
North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Premium Supplier 9th April 2015

North West Young Chef Facing His Biggest Year Yet

It is almost a year since Danny Young, a fresh faced apprentice from Nigel Howarth’s Michelin-starred Northcote Hotel, cooked his way to the title of Essential Cuisine’s North West Young Chef.

In just 12 months the hard working young Lancastrian, 21, has gone from relative freshman to Chef de partie, running various kitchen sections under the watchful eye of his head chef, and now has his sights set on not one, but two major cooking competitions. Most recently he has been listed as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Royal Academy Annual Awards of Excellence, while the semis of the Craft Guild of Chefs’ highly prized Young National Chef of the Year competition (Danny received an automatic seed by way of his triumph in the North West) loom large.

“I can’t believe how much life has changed since winning” says Danny “It’s been massive.”

“Competitions like North West Young Chef; they can change your career, we’ve got people visiting the Northcote, they recognise you, people are phoning me to do things, it’s good for your career, it helps gain respect within the industry.”

How much of his success does he attribute to cutting his teeth in the bright spotlight of competition?

“Throughout my career I’ve always tried to work as hard as I can but competing and then winning gives you the belief to push yourself and say ‘I can do this’ – if I didn’t I may have just taken a step back and who knows what I’d be doing.”

Danny is quick to lay much of the credit for his current standing on the shoulders of both his brigade and Northcote head chef Lisa Allen, who, he says, has spent many long days, evenings and even days off “mentoring, honing, tweaking, assessing” his food; helping him develop his own style.

mainThe award-winning chef is currently on maternity leave, yet she is the first one on the telephone to offer Danny support and encouragement, and the first number he looks to when in search of inspiration.

“She’s never off it!” says Danny, “She’s been a judge and knows what it’s all about – what I’m all about, my cooking. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without her help and guidance. Her support has been phenomenal.”

With the 2015 North West Young Chef competition culminating in May, what advice does he have for the young chefs about to enter the fray?

“Show as much skill and technique as you can but when it comes to flavours, keep it simple. Try and put the nerves to one side and just go for it.”

Danny will have been at Northcote for 5 years this July, and, as he faces down his biggest year yet, has he thought about what lies ahead?

“It’s a big year, but to be honest, I’ve not even planned next week. I’ve just got to keep on practising, honing, learning and try to be the best I can be. If I can do that then who knows what can be achieved.”

For further information on the next North West Young Chef of the Year competition, call Lucy on 01606 541490. There is also a Facebook page and you can follow events on Twitter @NWYoungChefComp.

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