NORTH WEST YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR
A fan of foraging from a farming family has won this year’s North West Young Chef competition, with help from his mum’s 25-year-old pressure cooker. Andrew Postlethwaite, chef de partie at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal, was presented with the award following a cook-off at Manchester College’s Fielden Campus, Didsbury on Wednesday 8th June.
“I was really, really happy to be runner-up last year, but to actually win is amazing,” said the 21-year-old, who lives on his parents’ farm in Lambrigg, near Kendal. I did a few things different this year, which I think gave me an edge. Instead of using water bath, for instance, which doesn’t involve much skill to prepare, I went for lobster, which is harder to get right.
Representing Cumbria against talented young chefs from Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire, Andrew, who trained at Kendal College, was tasked with cooking up an award-winning three course meal for two using North West produce costing up to £25.
As well as the critical acclaim North West Young Chef brings, Andrew is now looking forward to a two week stage at a top European restaurant, with a year’s Craft Guild of Chefs membership.
Although he isn’t clear what he wants to do long term, Andrew firmly has his sights set on winning National Young Chef of the Year at The Restaurant Show, which he automatically qualified for by winning North West Young Chef. He has also won a place in the final of Visionary Dining Chef of the Year, where he will go up against head and executive chefs.
This year’s judging panel again comprised Brian Mellor, competition organiser and British Masterchef, Steven Doherty, chairman of the Gordon Ramsay Scholarship, and Nigel Crane, Dorchester-trained chef and managing director of Cheshire-based sponsor Essential Cuisine.
Joining the panel for the first time was Lisa Allen, head chef at Northcote Manor in the Lake District and a winner on BBC Two’s Great British Menu 2010, and Thom Hetherington, managing director of Holden Media, which organises Northern-based exhibitions.
Judge Nigel Crane said Andrew was extremely creative in his approach and abided by the golden rules of great cooking. “He confidently demonstrated a host of skills and some classic approaches, but, most importantly, kept it hot, simple, local and in season,” he said.
Chairman of judges and British Masterchef Brian Mellor said: “North West Young Chef is fast becoming the competition to enter if you want to get your name known in the industry, as well as train with some of the best chefs in Europe. We saw some ingenious ideas put into practice at this year’s final and Andrew, in particular, is definitely one to watch.”
Eighteen-year-old Danielle Heron from Manchester College, a second year catering student and trainee chef at Ramson of Ramsbottom, Bury, was hailed this year’s runner-up.
North West Young Chef sponsors were Chroma Knives, Essential Cuisine, Oliver Harvey Chefswear, Lakes Hospitality Association,The Staff Canteen, Craft Guild of Chefs, Frederic Robinsons, Villeroy & Boch and Visit Chester and Cheshire.
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