The Kent Young Chef is a fantastic competition that looks for the county’s aspiring young chefs. The Final took place in the form of a “cook off” on the 14th of November 2014 in which eight young finalists; four Junior and four Senior, cooked a range of fantastic dishes in the comprehensive kitchens in the renowned East Kent College. The ‘Cook Off” started at 10am with sponsors, guests and parents watching on in anticipation. The finalists had just two hours to produce their seasonal, regional recipes bringing the raw ingredients with them.
The four Judges led by Richard Phillips selected the two winners; Priya aged 14 from Darrick Wood Secondary School in Orpington presented an excellent dish named ‘Have a Berry Christmas!’ – Venison Medallions with a herby juniper rub, balsamic fig sauce and black braised cabbage.
Jack, aged 11, from Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells cooked Kentish Rabbit wrapped in pancetta with a sweet potato mash, honey glazed baby carrots, parsnips and Kingswood cider reduction.
Head Judge Richard Phillips said, “The Judging panel had a difficult job this year particularly with the juniors who all presented accomplished and seasonal dishes. Considering that we had three eleven year olds and a twelve year old, all four of the judges were very impressed with the calibre of the cooking and the execution of the dishes”.
The three Junior runner-ups were George Cox, from Bickley Park School, Bromley and George Helmer from Skinners’ School, both served Pork which, the judges found to be exceptionally well cooked and showed huge potential. The third runner-up in the Junior category was Kieran Jones from Swadelands School Lenham, who took on a complex dish of Thyme Roasted Crown of Pheasant with a Perry poached pear and pear puree, shallot and chestnut Tart Tatin and buttered cavalo nero.
Once the judging was over, the young chefs, their family members, guests and sponsors sat down to an exceptional lunch cooked by the talented catering students of East Kent College. Before presenting the winners and runners-up with their prizes, Richard Phillips gave a brief synopsis of the dishes and an overview of the highlights of the 2014 competition. Priya and Jack were invited to receive their 2014 trophies supported by Aford Awards and professional chef equipment sponsored by CSS. All finalists were given a certificate and an invitation from Richard to spend a day in one of his restaurant kitchens.
In celebration of this brilliant competition and the talent of the young chefs, Produced in Kent are proud to present a charity dinner held at The Windmill on Thursday 15th January. The two winners will help to prepare a stunning three-course meal for guests in id of John Townsend Trust – Monkshill Farm. Tickets are £28 per person and include a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. It will be a great event! to book tickets call the windmill on 01622889000.