A South Lakes chef is celebrating after being awarded the 2012 Cumbria Young Chef of the Year title. Scott Fairweather, 21, who works as Head Chef at The Punch Bowl at Crosthwaite received the award after wowing judges in a two and a half hour cook-off on 6th March against five other young chefs at the fantastic facilities at Kendal College.
His starter of Morecambe Bay sea bass, Belly of Pork with Lune Valley Smokehouse buttered potato main course, and dessert of coffee panna cotta with Goosnargh duck egg crème anglaise was praised by the Judges (Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor, Managing Director of Essential Cuisine Nigel Crane and Executive Chef of Stanley House Steve Williams) for its creativity in using local ingredients.
All three judges were impressed with the skills demonstrated by the young chefs at the Cumbria cook off and encouraged all the runners up to try again next year; Reece Kirkham from Hipping Hall, Aimee Trelore from Clarence House Country Hotel, Harry Dutton from The Queens Head, Steven Slater from the General Burgoyne and Bethany Andrew from Kendal College.
Scott received the 2012 Cumbria Young Chef of the Year award at the Best of Lakeland Show Dinner held at Braithwaite Fold, Bowness-on-Windermere on 14th March, and will now go forward to represent Cumbria in the North West regional final on 12th June at Manchester College. On the night all the chefs were presented with certificates and wine from CooperWhite. Scott also received a Gastronorm hamper put together by exhibitors at the Best of Lakeland Show including Essential Cuisine, The Lune Valley Smokehouse Company and Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps.
"I feel on top of the world after winning" said Scott who had never entered a competition prior to this one. "I was really impressed by the standard of all the chefs in the competition and am going to get in as many hours of practise as possible before the final."
Scott studied catering at Lancaster & Morecambe College and has only been in the Head Chef role at The Punch Bowl for 7 weeks. Scott said "I was strongly influenced by my first boss Tracy Fairbrother at The Stork Inn. At the time I was still in school, but used to stay there at weekends and was really inspired by Tracy. I am also very grateful to Granny Pat and my girlfriend Kirsty Moir who have been so supportive."
Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor said: "The Young Chef Awards is a valuable experience for young people and will be an important stepping stone to greater things. This is the 10th Anniversary of the competition and all 5 finalists from the very first year are still working in the industry with one of them heading up Gordon Ramsay's restaurant in Dubai."
Brian went on to say "It is again fitting that the award was presented as part of the Best of Lakeland Hospitality Show, where there was an impressive line-up of chefs doing cooking demonstrations throughout both days of the Show. The most heart warming demo to watch was the one done by Reece Kirkham, one of this years Cumbria Young Chef of the Year finalists. It was Reece's first ever demo, but he is clearly a talented young chef who we will see much more of."
Lakes Hospitality Association's (LHA) sponsors the Cumbria Young Chef of the Year and Gillian Bromley the LHA show organiser said "that it is great to be able to support local talent and provide the opportunity for them to raise their profile within the area. It is important for us to encourage young people to become part of the hospitality trade and enable them to build their confidence and develop their skills. We look forward to hearing more about the finalists and wish Scott Fairweather best of ‘culinary luck' in the North West regional final."
This press release was provided by Essential Cuisine