Essential Cuisine is calling on head and mentor chefs from across the north west of England to unleash the young talent bubbling under in their kitchens, as the 2019 hunt for North West Young Chef of the Year begins.
The prestigious competition, held in association with Sous Vide Tools and CHR Equipment, invites young chefs, aged 24 or under, from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Cumbria and Shropshire, to produce a sumptuous three-course meal for two featuring local and seasonal produce.
Passionate chairman of the judges, Brian Mellor is keen that the competition continues its long tradition of uncovering talented young chefs, while helping build the confidence and skill of every competitor.
Mellor said, “Since its inception the competition has gone from strength to strength; the levels of skill, innovation, and sheer professionalism shown by the young chefs is so encouraging. Every year it’s great to see often very modest or shy young people come alive in the kitchen and thrive under the pressure of competitive cooking. I can’t wait to see what our 2019 crop will bring to the table.”
The competition format comprises two semi-finals, held at Blackpool and the Fylde College (Thursday 28 March) and Warrington College (Wednesday 3rd April). Two skilled chefs – one winner and one runner-up – from each semi will be sent through to compete in a final, held on 15 May at Cheshire College South and West.
From there, one outright winner will receive the coveted title, plus a seed into the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year, £500 in cash and a weekend for two at Cheshire’s The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
Judges include Essential Cuisine’s Senior Development Chef Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, plus BBC Great British Menu stars, Craig Sherrington, chef proprietor at Cumbria’s Virginia House and Ellis Barrie, chef and co-owner, the Marram Grass, Anglesey.
2018 saw Carden Park’s Cyril Gabriel cook his way to the title. On the win, he said: “The whole experience of the competition has enabled me to progress in my career as a professional chef, I have grown in confidence, not only behind the stove but as a person on the whole. Thanks to the organisers and judges for giving us the opportunity to showcase our talents and most of all our passion for the industry.”
Young chefs seeking to emulate Cyril’s success and that of 15 other young winners throughout the competition’s history, can enter today by visiting: www.essentialcuisine.com
The North West Young Chef of the Year Competition is also supported by The Staff Canteen, Villeroy & Boch, Robinson’s Brewery, Oliver Harvey, Robert Welch, RD Wines, The Mere Golf Resort and Spa and Lake District Life & Lancashire Life.