Chesterfield’s young chefs shortlisted in 2017 Food and Drink Awards
Three Chesterfield College students have been shortlisted for the title of Young Chef of the Year in the 2017 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.
Rhoda Malova (19) from New Whittington, Eben Mellor (18) from Wingerworth, and Hannah Turner (17) from Chesterfield are all hoping to be named Chesterfield’s top young chef at next month’s awards ceremony which is organised by Destination Chesterfield.
The award, which is sponsored by The Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints recognises Chesterfield College’s most promising Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery course student. A former winner of the prestigious title includes James Greatorex, who is employed at Heston Blumenthal’s Berkshire restaurant, The Fat Duck, a three Michelin-starred restaurant and recognised as one of the best restaurants in the world.
Hosted by celebrity cake designer Mich Turner, the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards are now in their fifth year, and more popular than ever with 32 business and individuals going head to head for 13 titles.
As part of the competition, Rhoda, Eben and Hannah took part in a live cook-off, which involved them preparing a two-course meal for judges Adam Warwick, Head Chef from Blu Bistro, Jamie Taylor, Head Chef at Nonnas and Colin McKenna of award sponsor The Parish Church of St. Mary and All Saints. Judges were looking for technical and presentation skills as well as the combination of flavours the young chefs created in their dishes.
Rhoda prepared pan-fried salmon with peas and chorizo and a white wine cream sauce followed by a passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake. She commented:-
“A tutor suggested I entered the competition. I was extremely happy to find I made the final three and was able to cook for the judges. I was really nervous as time approached but once I started preparing the food I felt much calmer. My main goal after completing my level 3 would be to gain a wide range of experience in the industry and then hopefully open my own family-run restaurant.”
Eben prepared roast smoked garlic chicken breast with a burnt leek puree, mushrooms and asparagus and a lemon and passion fruit cheesecake. He said:-
“I really enjoyed cooking the meal for the judges and I thought it went very well. I’m inspired by my Dad who’s always cooked and I used to love helping out. Cooking is a real passion of mine; it allows me to be creative and be myself and people always like what I prepare, so that’s very rewarding.”
Hannah prepared a visually stunning roast rump of lamb with parsley crushed potatoes and lavender with a salted caramel chocolate tart to finish. She said:-
“The cook off was really intense! Although it went much better than I thought it would and I think that’s the best I have ever done with the dish. I love getting to know different recipes and learning different methods. That’s how I decided on my menu for the judges. I knew it would be fun to make and I would get to try out new techniques.”
Colin McKenna, Judge and award sponsor, commented:-
“We all enjoyed the food that we were presented with and if we were restaurant customers we would be proud to pay for any of the dishes we tasted. It was fantastic to see three young people doing such great work. The Church encourages young people on their way through life and the Young Chef of the Year Award is a great foundation for any young chef’s future career.”
Ian Matthews, Hospitality and Catering Tutor at Chesterfield College, said:-
“The students worked really hard in the run up to and during the competition to create some fantastic dishes. I am very proud of them all. It is a fantastic experience to cook under competition conditions for experienced chefs and discerning customers. It prepares the students for the pressures of working in the industry and gives them the opportunity to practice key skills which will make them stand out to employers in the future.”
The winner of the 2017 Young Chef of the Year will be announced at the Chesterfield Food and Drinks Awards at Chesterfield College’s Heart Space building on Wednesday 25th October.
Supporters of the awards include Addooco, Arvato, Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Accountants, Black Eyed Susan, Casa, Chesterfield Borough Council, City Taxis, Custom Solar, Derbyshire Times, East Midlands Chamber, Franklin & Sons, Mitchells Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Jumble Design, MSE Hiller, Owen Taylor & Sons, Peak FM, Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, Steve Faulkner, Shorts Accountants, ra Information Systems and Reflections.