Following a closely contested final involving schools from across Lancashire, Fylde schools take top places in Young Chef Competition. This year’s prestigious Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition took place on 1st May at Blackburn College.
Judged by celebrity chefs Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote MBE, the competition honours the memory of the late Reg Johnson. He was a poultry farmer whose top-quality produce put the village of Goosnargh on the map and, actively encouraged the development of young talent in the catering industry.
Fylde Schools take Top Places in Young Chef Competition
Katie Weekes and Ruby Williams from Highfield Leadership Academy in Blackpool were the winning team. They impressed the judges with a main course of stuffed chicken with rhubarb jam and goats cheese wrapped in pancetta followed by a deconstructed rhubarb trifle.
Close behind in second place came Callum Wynn and Jayden Shallcross from Carr Hill High School in Kirkham. Their pan-fried chicken breast with potato salad embellished with wild garlic mayonnaise and accompanied by char-grilled broccoli with a citrus dressing, proved a great success. A rhubarb compote and ginger trifle completed their winning meal.
Jordan Kehoe, Chef Lecturer at Blackpool and The Fylde College, which stages the competition jointly with Blackburn College, said: “It was fantastic to see so many schools across Lancashire getting involved with this competition. I went into many local schools to promote the competition and from day one to see so many of them rise to the challenge and get so creative with their ideas was brilliant.
“I have had the pleasure of mentoring both the runners-up and the winners throughout the three heats of this competition and both teams did exceptionally well. Their hard work and commitment throughout really did shine through at the finals.
“This is only the beginning of their exciting culinary journey as they have won some amazing prizes which will not only continue their development and knowledge within the hospitality world but also inspire and show what can be achieved within this fantastic industry.”
Prizes for the winners of the Young Chef Competition
Prizes for the winning Highfield Leadership Academy team included a dinner for six at the renowned Michelin-starred Northcote Manor restaurant in the Ribble Valley, a cookery demonstration by executive chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, a set of professional standard pans, and a signed copy of Nigel Howarth’s best-selling cookery book ‘Obsession’.
The school was also awarded the Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition trophy and a food dehydrator. That piece of equipment is essential to modern professional-standard cooking.
The runners-up will also soon be enjoying their prize. They get dinner for four at the Michelin star White Swan restaurant in Fence. Plus cooking equipment and a signed copy of ‘Obsession’.
Love cooking? Then be a ‘Young Chef’
Young people aged 13 to 16 can enrol in The Young Chefs Academy. It’s run by Blackpool and The Fylde College and held at the Bispham campus. It’s for anyone interested in a career as a chef. And anyone who just enjoys cooking and wants to learn new skills
It’s a five-week, Wednesday evening course. A professional chef from the college teaches you basic cookery skills in an industry standard kitchen. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook a range of dishes. Plus you’ll receive a certificate on completion of the course.
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