A young chef from The Grosvenor in Chester is celebrating after qualifying for the final place in the 2012 Essential Cuisine North West Young Chef of the Year Competition. Laura Daniels secured her place in the final by winning the Cheshire heat of the competition held on 26th April at South Cheshire College.
As well as working at The Grosvenor, Laura is also completing her final year at college. She entered the competition to see how far she could push herself.
Laura's started her 3 course menu with Fleetwood scallops, barley broth, borage, orange, cucumber and liquorice. She followed this with a main course of Cockerham Salt Marsh lamb, including the liver, kidney, vegetables, artichoke, curd, ribbons and jus. Laura sourced her lamb locally from Bank End Farm. When planning her menu, she started by putting down all her ideas and then tied them in with seasonal produce from the North West.
For dessert, Laura produced a stunning Lancashire banana and chocolate soufflé with raspberries and chocolate "bits and bobs". She sourced the bananas from Greenhouse Sensation in Mawdesley; the only farm in the UK to actually grow bananas.
During the Cheshire heat, Laura faced very strong competition from Ben Field (The Bear in Warmingham), Alex Pendlebury (The Grill on the Square in Warrington), Harri Williams (Carden Park Hotel near Chester) and Joe Liptrot (The Chimney House Hotel in Sandbach).
Laura was surprised to win "it's impossible to know what everyone else is doing during the competition or how well their dishes are turning out" she said. When asked how she will prepare for the final, Laura said "there are a few techniques I will tweak for the final and I also need to research what will be in season in June".
The judges on the day were Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor and Managing Director of Essential Cuisine Nigel Crane. The third judge on the day was Joe Wright from Joseph Benjamin in Chester. Brian said "Joe was one of the first ever finalists in the North West Young Chef of the Year competition and he was representing Cheshire, so it's great to have him involved, especially as this is the 10th anniversary of the competition."
Laura will now go on to represent Cheshire at the North West Young Chef Competition Final on 12th June at Manchester College in Didsbury. For more information on the North West Young Chef of the Year competition visit www.essentialcuisine.com
This press release was provided by Essential Cuisine