Student named Shropshire Young Chef of the Year

2016’s Shropshire Young Chef of the Year was found on Wednesday 13th April at Shrewsbury College.

Michael Burgess aged 17,  studying Level 3 Catering at the College, cooked his way to the crown earning himself a place in the final of the competition in May.

The competition, sponsored by Essential Cuisine and CHR, looks for chefs under the age of 23 to cook a 3 course meal for 2 people featuring local and seasonal produce. For the first time in 14 years since the competition began, the search was extended to Shropshire due to the county’s abundance of culinary talent. This was evidenced through Michael’s winning performance.

The Shropshire Young Chef of the Year said “I found out about the competition through college so I thought I would give it a go. Once I’d applied I did lots of preparation and research, for example; I went down to my local farm shop to see what foods were in season and put this information into practice at work by seeing which elements would work.”

Michael Burgess’ winning menu consisted of Ironbridge blue, beetroot and pickled sugar snaps followed by a main course of pot roast venison, celeriac and boulangere and completed the winning trio with dessert; Rhubarb, crème friache and pimhill crumble.

Michael battled against tough competition as he took on another two highly skilled and prepared chefs; Georgina Gurney aged 18 from The Red Lion @ Myddle as well as William Davies aged 18 from The Tayleur Arms.

Judges on the day were; Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor and Business Development Chef Robin Dudley. Both of which were equally impressed by the high standard of Michaels‘s dishes. With Robin Dudley adding “I was particularly impressed with Michael’s dessert, the flavour worked incredibly well. The overall standard was very high but there could only be one winner”

Michael continued to say “To be honest I’m in complete shock, everyone competing was in with a good chance so I really didn’t expect it to be me. I’m so happy though! The only other competition I have competed in is one held by Shrewsbury Town – and I did get through to the final but disappointingly didn’t win.

This has definitely made up for it! For the final I’m going to delve into even more research and also work on traditional plating up techniques, I like to get a lot of inspiration from the Chefs Canteen” Who knows, if Michael carries on with this motivated attitude he may become as successful as his idols; Heston and Ramsey!

Michael will now go on to attend a master class with an acclaimed chef to hone skills with the industry’s best, before going on to compete against the other regional winners in the final of North West Young Chef Competition, which will be held at Manchester College on 10th May 2016.

For more information about Catering courses the College, please call 01743 342346. Alternatively you can come along to our next Advice Event on Thursday, 9 June. 5-7pm

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