GET READY FOR NORTH WEST YOUNG CHEF FINAL

GET READY FOR NORTH WEST YOUNG CHEF FINAL
North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Premium Supplier 17th May 2012

GET READY FOR NORTH WEST YOUNG CHEF FINAL

The countdown to the final of this year’s Essential cuisine-sponsored North West Young Chef is now on, with five young chefs from across the region geared up for the ultimate cook-off.
The county heats of the competition, now in its 10th year, have now all taken place, with the final culinary battle set to take place on Tuesday, June 12 atManchesterCollege, Didsbury.
The five finalists hoping to take the crown, guaranteeing them a place in National Young Chef of the Year 2012, are Laura Daniels from Cheshire, Scott Fairweather from Cumbria, Amelia Vella from Greater Manchester, Lewis Gallagher from Lancashire and Owen West from Merseyside – all talented chefs who impressed the judges at their respective heats.
In her heat, Laura, who works at The Grosvenor, Chester, started with Fleetwood scallops, barley broth, borage, orange, cucumber and liquorice, followed by Cockerham Salt Marsh lamb, including the liver, kidney, vegetables, artichoke, curd, ribbons and jus, and a dessert of Lancashire banana and chocolate soufflé with raspberries and chocolate “bits and bobs”.
After the heat, an elated Laura said: “it’s impossible to know what everyone else is doing during the competition or how well their dishes are turning out. There are a few techniques I will tweak for the final and I also need to research what will be in season in June.” 
Scott Fairweather, head chef at The Punch Bowl, Crosthwaite, kicked off with a starter of Morecambe Bay sea bass, followed by belly of pork with Lune Valley Smokehouse buttered potato, and a dessert of coffee panna cotta with Goosnargh duck egg crème anglaise.
Scott said: “I feel on top of the world after winning. I was really impressed by the standard of all the chefs in theCumbriaheat and am now going to get in as many hours of practice as possible before the final."
Amelia, a commis chef from Bents Garden Centre, Leigh, served up a starter of broad bean and asparagus risotto with a pea puree, topped with a free range poached egg and pea shoots, followed by a trio of lamb with purple and white potatoes, wilted spinach and lamb, and rhubarb and ginger cheesecake with a twisted rhubarb topping for dessert. 
Despite receiving good feedback, Amelia didn’t expect to win. “This was my first competition,” she said. “I couldn’t see exactly what the others were doing, but I could tell the standard was high. I am so pleased to be going to the North West Young Chef final.”
Lewis, who works at Grill on the Hill at Stanley House, Mellor, cooked a starter of ravioli of Yellison’s goat’s cheese, Cumbrian air-dried ham cannelloni and Ormskirk onions, followed by stuffed saddle of Goosnargh rabbit,MorecambeBaylangoustines, dandelion and lemongrass nage, and Johnson’s duck egg custard with textures of Eddisbury rhubarb for dessert
Lewis was “over the moon” to win theLancashireheat. “I invested time visiting the suppliers and producers of the ingredients I used and made the most of all the great produce right on my doorstep,” he said. “There is a lot of knowledge that I can gain from the senior chefs at Stanley House. A wealth of experience that I can tap into”.
Owen, demi chef de partie at London Carriage Works, Liverpool, started with a pan fried fillet of local mackerel on a fennel and orange salad, with fennel puree and a citrus dressing, followed by pan roast loin of Roe Buck venison with spiced braised red cabbage, parsnip puree, spring baby vegetables and orange and juniper jus. His dessert was a trio of apples with Brambley apple crumble and custard tartlet, Granny Smith sorbet and crispin crisp.
Owen was “amazed” to win the Merseyside heat. He said: “I can’t wait for the final. I am now going to start planning and thinking about what will be in season in June.”
North West Young Chef was borne from British Master Chef Brian Mellor’s desire to recognise up and coming chefs (aged 23 or under) in the region, with emphasis on local provenance. As well as the chance to become a national star, North West Young Chef 2012 will also receive a week stage at a top European restaurant and a set of professional chef’s knives.
For more information, call 01606 541490 or visit www.essentialcuisine.com. There is also a Facebook page and you can follow events on Twitter (@NWYoungChefComp).