Young chefs from across Lancashire cooked up a storm battling it out in the return of the Lancashire Catering & Hospitality Expo’s Lancashire Young Student Chef of the Year Competition at the Norbreck Castle Hotel.
It was the second year of the competition and for the second year running a student from Manchester’s Fielden Campus took first place.
Eighteen year old Laura Daniels from Timperley impressed the judges with a starter of Fleetwood scollops, seared chicken, barley, borage, cucumber, orange & liquorice and a main course of Cockerham salt marsh lamb loin, skin, kidney, liver, artichoke, young vegetables, ribbons & jus.
Among her prizes was £200 in cash, MEN Arena concert tickets, a Miele oven and vac, a work placement, a chef’s jacket and a place on a Miele Cookery School.
Second place in the closely run competition also went to a Manchester student – this time from the Moston Campus.
Bethany Eastwood’s carefully arranged starter of Fleetwood mackerel, grilled, marinated, Peter Ashcroft beetroot, cucumber, horseradish, borage, and a main course of Forest of Bowland pork fillet, with Bury black pudding, nettle, spinach, Formby asparagus, Ingle white apple, parsley, jus received high praise from the judges.
Also taking part in the final stage of the two day competition were Mark Rothwell of Hopwood Hall in Rochdale with a starter of Morecambe Bay haddock with tartare sauce & Sarson’s vinegar gel (highly praised) and a main of Goosnargh corn-fed chicken with roasted beetroot risotto, baby leeks & Parmesan foam; and Laura Williams from Blackburn with a starter of Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese souffles (highly praised), and a main of peppered Goosnargh duck breast with wild mushroom risotto cakes).
Failing to make it through from the heats were Blackpool & the Fylde College’s Craig Ireland (starter – hot smoked mackerel with deep fried duck egg and pea veloute, main – butter poached chicken with wild mushroom, walnuts and smoked bacon finished with carrot puree and a red wine jus); Accrington & Rossendale’s Zak Allen (starter – Bury black pudding won tons, sloe gin damson compote, salad leaves & Tarleton parsnip crisps, main – Morecambe Bay plaice paupiette with salmon mousse, tomato butter sauce, spinach & ricotta tortellini & Ormskirk potato broth); and John Hunt from Hopwood Hall with a starter of pan fried trout fillet with potted shrimps & cucumber salad, main - roast rack of lamb with glazed carrots, wilted spinach & red wine sauce).
Judges this year were Nigel Smith from The Villa at Wrea Green, Paul Moss from Twelve in Thornton, Paul Rowley from the Lindum Hotel in St Annes and Robin Duke from The Gazette .
“All four judges were very impressed with the high standard of everyone involved in this year’s competition,” said chairman of the judges Nigel Smith. “We are sure there were some future leading chefs to be found amongst them.”