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York College student Zacharias Abbott wins Golden Apron 2017

21 March 2017 by
York College student Zacharias Abbott wins Golden Apron 2017

A 17-year-old catering student from York College has won the Golden Apron 2017 competition run by Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie, the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR.

Abbott won the title following an event held at Mackenzie's Pipe and Glass in South Dalton, Beverley, last night, where he and fellow competitors Joseph Lees and Adam Rothery, 16 and 17 respectively, cooked a starter-sized portion of their "My Yorkshire" dish for 70 guests who then voted blind for their favourite entry.

It was third-time lucky for Abbott, who is from Stamford Bridge near York, and studies level 2 professional cookery at York College. He currently works part-time at Middlethorpe Hall on the outskirts of York, and will join the country house hotel's team full-time when he graduates this summer. Speaking at the event last night, he said: "I am thrilled, ecstatic and over the moon and had I've loved every second of the competition."

He wins a package of prizes including the chance to design a range of products that will appear on the shelves of sponsors ASDA next Christmas.

The Golden Apron is now in its fourth year and is run by Mackenzie and Southburn-based businesses the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR. It is sponsored by ASDA and Cranswick and is open to young chefs aged between 14 and 19 from across the county.

Finalist Lees is from Whitby and is studying at Caedmon College, while Rothery is from Anlaby and studying level 2 culinary skills at Hull College.

Abbott's winning main dish was juniper-rolled Yorkshire venison with fondant potatoes, carrot, parsnip, rhubarb and ginger with a port and cranberry sauce.
The three finalists were supported in the kitchen by Mackenzie and his team, and by ASDA innovations development chef Mark Richmond.

Richmond added: "Chefs seem to be getting younger and more inspiring - the skills that they show at such a young age are amazing. These three all have a burning ambition, which is very encouraging."

Finalists named in James Mackenzie's Golden Apron young chef competition >>

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