Young Chef 2016

Our latest chefs from Dowdales take part in the Cumbria final

DOWDALES SCHOOL, 4th FEBRUARY 2016
This event is the first round of a national competition which attracts around 6,000 entrants who will be competing in schools from all around the UK
This year, the Rotary Club of Furness sponsored Alfie Hool & Will Hendley to compete in the event. Both students attend Dowdale’s school.
The competition began at around 4.00.p.m. and the tension began to build as the students began the task of preparing their creations for scrutiny by judges Michael Moore, an internationally acclaimed chef with restaurants in London and Oslo and who is about to open his own Chefs School and, to add a bit of local flavour [pun definitely intended], Richard Booth Head Chef at Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge.

The 10 budding chefs were set to work in the kitchens at the school and began to set about their task, eagerly overseen by the judges. The atmosphere was hot, the anticipation was palpable and there was clearly an element of nervousness. But thankfully the students didn’t notice. After a couple hours it was clear that the food was ready to be displayed when the senses became infused with the unmistakable aroma of quality food which has been finely cooked to a standard beyond the capabilities of most of the Rotary and Dowdale’s staff observers . The time had come to view the results in the display area. The food presentations, to the untrained eye, appeared to be of top notch restaurant quality.
Indeed, the food presentations to the highly trained judge’s eyes were of the highest quality, and afterwards they commented that all of the competitors can be justifiably proud of their achievements.

However, as with all competitions there can be only one winner and unfortunately on this occasion neither Alfie nor Will made it to the next stage. The judges did, however, offer help and advice to all competitors after the event and both Alfie and Will took the advice heartily and said they will learn from it for the future.

The eventual winner at this stage of the competition was Lucelia Price aged 15 of the Lakes School, Troutbeck with her menu of prawns on a bed of leeks with oyster mushrooms garnished with spring onions, followed by Black Miso Cod, green beans, courgettes and fluffy white rice. For dessert she offered five spice plums poached with cinnamon sticks, black peppercorns, star anise served with the option of cream.
Runner-up was Charlotte Robinson aged just 13 from Millom School.  In congratulating Lucelia on her victory, Mr Moore immediately offered her a position at his restaurant.  Great praise indeed!
Both Lucelia and Charlotte now go on to the District 1190 Final to be held on Saturday 5 March at 11am at Kendal College, where the High Sheriff of Cumbria has agreed to present the awards.

Thanks must go to Ken Day of Ulverston Rotary for organising the event.  Special thanks to Louisa Gibson Design Technology Teacher at Dowdale’s school who has been instrumental in managing the students throughout the entire process.  Also, many thanks to  Rotary Club of Furness members for their support on the night; Martin McLeavy who put in a great deal of work and Tony Clarke, Gordon Turner, Alan Todd, Peter Gardner and Brian Boyd