A commis chef from Bents Garden Centre in Leigh is celebrating after being awarded the 2012 Greater Manchester Young Chef of the Year title. Amelia Vella received the award following a two and a half hour cook off on 24th April at Manchester College Fielden Campus in Didsbury as part of the Essential Cuisine sponsored North West Young Chef of the Year Competition.
For her starter, Amelia cooked broad bean and asparagus risotto with a pea puree, topped with a free range poached egg and pea shoots. When asked about her choice of ingredients, Amelia said "one of my favourite restaurants is Grenache in Manchester. When planning my menu, I went to see the head chef there and talked my menu through with him. He suggested running the pea puree through my risotto, so I went back to the kitchen and tried it out".
Amelia's main course was a trio of lamb served with purple and white potatoes, wilted spinach and lamb jus. She finished the menu with a rhubarb and ginger cheesecake with a twisted rhubarb topping. Amelia sourced her rhubarb from Roy Halman's farm near Holmes Chapel in Cheshire.
Despite receiving good feedback from one of the judges, Amelia didn't expect to win. "This was my first competition" she said, "I couldn't see exactly what the others were doing, but I could tell the standard was high. I am so pleased to be going through to the North West Young Chef Final."
On the day, Amelia faced tough competition from Sarah Shaw and Jon-Michael Dunne, both from Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club. The judges on the day were Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor, Managing Director of Essential Cuisine Nigel Crane, and Aiden Byrne chef owner of The Church Green in Lymm.
Amelia will now go on to represent Greater Manchester at the North West Young Chef of the 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