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

06 March 2017 by
Finalists named in James Mackenzie's Golden Apron young chef competition

Three teenagers have been shortlisted to compete for the Golden Apron, Yorkshire's best young chef competition, following a cook-off held yesterday.

The Golden Apron is run by Michelin-starred chef and Catey winner James Mackenzie, chef/owner of the Pipe and Glass at South Dalton, near Beverley, East Yorkshire, in partnership with Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, seeks to find Yorkshire's rising star young chef.

The three chefs are Zacharias Abbott (17) from Stamford Bridge, who is studying level 2 professional cookery at York College, and works part-time at Middlethorpe Hall; Joseph Lees (16) from Whitby, who is studying at Caedmon College, including GCSE catering; and Adam Rothery (17), from Anlaby, who is studying level 2 culinary skills at Hull College.

The finalists were selected following a semi-final at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School yesterday, where eight young chefs from across the region battled it out in front of four judges. The three successful young chefs will take part in a final on Monday, 20 March, where they will required to cook alongside Mackenzie at a gala dinner at the Pipe and Glass for 70 covers.

The Golden Apron is organised by Mackenzie, the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR, both based at Southburn, near Driffield, East Yorkshire. It is supported by food suppliers Cranswick Plc and ASDA.

At the semi-finals, each of the eight finalists had to prepare a dish of their own, inspired by the theme "My Yorkshire", with a budget of £10 for two servings, cooked and served in two hours. In addition, they were later challenged by Mackenzie to cook a pudding of apple and rhubarb crumble with spiced ginger custard featuring ingredients specified by him, but using their own choice of method.

Abbott served a main course of juniper-rolled Yorkshire venison with fondant potatoes, carrot, parsnip, rhubarb and ginger with a port and cranberry sauce, Lees prepared pan-roasted rack of lamb coated in a Dijon herb crust with sweet garlic, roasted roots with a quince and rosemary reduction (using lamb bred by his grandfather); while Rothery's dish was 32-day dry-aged beef fillet and rock oysters with sweet potato gnocchi, seaweed and beef jus.

At the final, each Golden Apron finalist will work with Mackenzie and his team to cook a starter-sized portion of their dish, while diners are asked to vote "blind" for each dish. The winner will be given prizes including a work placement with Cranswick Plc which will entail working on the ASDA account with their new product development team.

The last winner, Kurtus Auty, from Selby, is now working at Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant in London.

The other five semi-finalists were: Daniel Parkes (18) from Louth, who is studying level 3 professional cookery at the Grimsby Institute; Hannah Proffitt (14) from Leeds, who attends Allerton High School where food technology is one of her subjects; Jonathan Sreeves (14) from Walkington, who is a pupil at Beverley Grammar School, and also studies food technology; Joshua Tolson (16) from Bubwith, who is on a level 1 professional cookery course at Selby College; and Elizabeth Waterhouse (15) from Baildon, whose GCSE subjects at Harrogate Ladies' College include food and nutrition.

For further information: www.thegoldenapron.co.uk

Golden Apron 2015 names 18-year-old Kurtus Auty as winner >>

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