The hunt for the latest North West Young Chef has started, with organisers confirming the first county heat at Manchester College on Wednesday, 17 April 2013.
The competition for chefs under 23, sponsored by Essential Cuisine affords the winner with a stage at a top restaurant and automatic entry into the Craft Guild of Chefs' National Young Chef of the Year competition.
However, without the support of head chefs and college lecturers, contenders can be on a back foot, according to British Master Chef Brian Mellor, competition founder and chairman of judges.
"As we've seen over and again in the past 10 years, this competition can do wonders for an up and coming chef's profile, but contenders do need the practical and moral support of their superiors, whether they need to pick their brains on ingredient sourcing, fine tune a particular cooking skill or have someone do a dummy run with them. While the judges are not there to trip anyone up, the cook-offs can be nerve-wracking and practice is key to getting it right on the day".
Contenders will be asked to cook a three-course meal for two using North West, seasonal produce costing up to £25, and will also be given the opportunity to attend a master-class with an acclaimed chef prior to June's final.
North West Young Chef 2012 was won by Lewis Gallagher, a foraging fan who gets to know his suppliers personally and works at the Grill on the Hill at Stanley House, Mellor, in Lancashire and who has recently won the Acorn Scholarship 2013.
Organisers now want to hear from young chefs to take part in the five county heats, with entrants required to work in Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire or Cumbria. For entry details visit www.essentialcuisine.com
By Lisa Jenkins
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