Yorkshire's first Best Young Chef competition has been won by a 15 year old girl from Wakefield.
Philippa Lister, a student at Wakefield Girls High School, scooped the coveted title after wowing judges and diners at the final of The Golden Apron cookery competition which was held on Monday 29 April at the Pipe and Glass in South Dalton.
The final saw three youngsters compete in a cook-off for 70 VIP guests where they had to prepare a course each. Gemma Lawrence, also 15 and from Doncaster, was responsible for the starter, while Josh Whitehead, 18, from Leeds, cooked the main course.
Lister prepared the winning dessert dish: a Yorkshire tea panna cotta with rhubarb and parkin and Terry's of York chocolate orange brownie with crystallised white rose petal, finished off with Yorkshire curd and sloe gin ice cream.
She said: "I still can't believe I have won, because Gemma and Josh were both excellent contenders. I am on cloud nine. I have always been passionate about local food and cooking, but I have learnt so much over the last few months. I have realised just how much work goes into designing a dish and then translating that into something that can be served in a restaurant. Cooking in a real kitchen with James Mackenzie was an absolute dream come true."
The Golden Apron is the first competition of its kind in the region and was the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef and owner of the Pipe and Glass Inn, James Mackenzie in collaboration with Tim Rymer, chairman of JSR Farms and The Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School in Southburn.
Mackenzie said: "The response to the competition has been amazing. It has been great to see such talented young cooks from all over Yorkshire come together to showcase their skills and show off the county's great produce. We hope The Golden Apron has helped to inspire the next generation of chefs, and I'm looking forward to mentoring Philippa, Josh and Gemma."
The winner and runners up won mentoring and work experience at the Pipe and Glass and a work placement at Cranswick PLC working on the Sainsbury's account with the new product development team, while Lister also received a ‘golden apron' and a signed copy of Mackenzie's book, On the Menu. The event was sponsored by Sainsbury's and Hull-based Cranswick PLC.