Young Chefs Battle it out at Blackpool and The Fylde College

Published on 25/04/2019 by nmoo

Young chefs from across Lancashire have been put through their paces in the regional heats of the Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition, held at Blackpool and The Fylde College and Blackburn College.

32 pupils made it through to the regional heats by designing innovative, individual dishes that celebrated fresh local ingredients.

Judged by celebrity chefs Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote MBE; the competition was created to honour the memory of the late Reg Johnson – a local poultry farmer whose top-quality produce put the village of Goosnargh on the map.

Nigel Haworth said: “We have been absolutely delighted with the standard of dishes produced. Each pupil had really thought about the design, presentation and timing of their chosen dishes and it was a pleasure to see such passion for cooking in pupils so young.

“This is the perfect age to stimulate an interest in food, educating pupils of the fantastic career path and opportunities available within the Catering and Hospitality industry.”

Paul Heathcote MBE said: “Reg was a great friend of ours and he would have been so proud of this competition and the enthusiasm demonstrated by the pupils. He was very passionate about encouraging young chefs to enter the Catering and Hospitality industry.”

The finalists include: Callum Wynn & Jayden Shallcross, Nathan Anderson and Thierry Bennett from Carr Hill High School, Ruby Williams and Katie Weekes from Highfield Academy and Paigen Watson and Kaydance Evans from Unity Academy.

Bev Pilkington, curriculum manager for Catering and Hospitality at Blackpool and The Fylde College said: “We were thrilled to be able to host the competition and witness such a high standard of cooking across the regional heats.”

“Thank you to our partners for supporting this competition; Future U, Johnson and Swarbrick, Northcote, Heathcote and Co, Hive Business School, Brentwood Uniforms, Ribble Farm Fare and Sousvide Tools.”

Nigel Brown, Director for Students added: “A special thank you to Future U for their support with this project. Together, we will continue to empower young people with the knowledge and opportunities they need to succeed.”

The Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition is in its second iteration following a highly-successful inaugural year. The competition final is scheduled for Wednesday 1st May 2019 where pupils will be competing for an inspiring prize package including dinner for 6 at Michelin-star restaurant Northcote and a cooking demonstration from Executive Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen.

The next Young Chefs Academy at B&FC Bispham campus starts on 1st May for four weeks. Contact 01253 504 343 to reserve a place.