North West Young Chef 2018 open for entries

Entries are now open for the 2018 North West Young Chef of the Year Competition – Essential Cuisine’s sixteenth annual search for the cream of the region’s young talent.

Following a highly successful 2017 which saw three previous winners, including the current title holder, l’enclume’s Thomas Reeves, storming the national finals and performing a remarkable 1-2-3 finish, returns with an increase in its entrant age limit to 24 – mirroring that of the nationals– and a dedicated new home for its final cook off.

The state-of-the-art kitchens at South Cheshire College will now provide the backdrop for the 2018 finals, following a switch from Manchester College. The contest, in association with Sous Vide Tools and CHR Equipment, invites hungry young chefs from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire, to compete for the coveted title, a seed into the national semi-finals, £500 in cash and, newly added, a weekend for two at Cheshire’s The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.

The format comprises two semi-finals, held at Warrington College (19 April) and Kendal College (11 April) respectively, with chefs from multiple regions squaring off in high pressure cook-offs.

Two talented chefs – one winner and one runner-up – from each semi will be sent through to compete in a final, held on 23 May 2018.

Chairman of judges, Brian Mellor said, “Since its inception, the competition has gone from strength to strength; the levels of skill, the innovation, the sheer professionalism of these young chefs – the bar keeps being raised with every passing year!

'The 1-2-3 at the national finals was a magical result for the northwest and an affirmation that the region is brimming with talent – this time around we are delighted to announce South Cheshire College as our new home, while the raising of the age limit simply keeps us in check with the national criteria. As judges we can’t wait to see what this year has in store.”