The search to find the cream of the North West of England's young cooking talent begins again in earnest, as entries into the 2014 North West Young Chef of the Year competition go live.
The contest, sponsored by Cheshire-based Essential Cuisine, invites young people from across Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Flintshire, and Cumbria to compete against each other to produce a three-course meal for two with an emphasis on local and seasonal produce.
Regional heats are set to take place in April and May, with a grand final scheduled for June. Alongside the kudos of being crowned the North West Young Chef of the Year, the eventual winner also goes through to the semi-final of The Young National Chef of the Year, competing against some of the best young chefs in the country.
Introduced two years ago, county heat winners also get to attend a masterclass with an acclaimed chef prior to the final as an opportunity to hone particular skills with the industry's best. 2013 finalists enjoyed a session with Chris Holland, head chef at Alderley Edge Hotel and contestant on the BBC's Great British Menu.
Over the years, the contest has produced some spectacular results, overseen by a panel of regional judges including big names such as: Steven Doherty, Lisa Allen, Christopher Basten, Marcus Bean and Sean Kelly. 2013's winner, Daniel Akrigg, of Simon Rogan's Rogan & Co in Cartmel, Cumbria, blew judges away with a keen sense of balance and flavour developed through his tutelage with the Rogan team. The nineteen year-old commis chef then went on to finish third at the nail-biting national finals, held during the Restaurant Show at London's Earls Court, more than earning his place at the top table.
For more information on the next North West Young Chef of the Year competition, call Lucy on 01606 541490. There is also a Facebook page and you can follow events on Twitter @Tweets by NWYoungChefComp .