‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’ is one of 18 categories in this year’s Weetabix Northamptonshire Food & Drink Awards. Sponsored by the ever supportive Booker, with an aim to encourage young talent and help to shine a light on the up and coming stalwarts of the kitchen.This year’s finalists, all under 25 years old, initially sold their potential on paper by describing their signature Northamptonshire dish.
Invites were sent to contest for the title at Northampton College. Thomas Farm Shop at Ecton kindly supplied Belly and Tenderloin of Pork, Friars Farm wholegrain mustard, Northampton Charcuterie Company pancetta and Shoots & Spores black pearl mushrooms. The challenge was to prepare a main course for 2 including the Northamptonshire produce, a potato element and at least one vegetable cooked in two different ways, all in just 2 hours.
The Booker Young Chef of the Year Finalists for 2023/24 are: Thomas Giles from The Falcon at Castle Ashby, Levi Moukam from The Falcon at Fotheringhay, Harvey Tapp from the Snooty Fox at Lowick and Jade Walter from Rushton Hall.
Harvey Tapp commented: “It was definitely something different and interesting to me and I’m glad I did it. To see other people my age interested in cooking and seeing what they produced, I really enjoyed it. I was pleased with my dish but I could have made it better, I’ve cooked a lot of pork before just not tenderloin so that was something new.”
Last year’s Gold Award winners of ‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’, Hannah Dunne and Shawn Monk have been lucky enough to spend a day in the kitchen with decorated chef Chris Galvin. This was thanks to new Awards Patron Professor David Foskett, with a ream of accolades to his name. But more importantly he has co-authored Practical Cookery Levels 1,2 and 3, Theory of Hospitality and Catering, Food and Beverage Management and Hospitality Supervision. These books have sold over 2 million copies in 140 countries.
David has been voted one of the most influential people in the hospitality public sector. Awards Director Rachel Mallows said: “I couldn’t be more delighted to have David’s support. Him wanting to be a patron, with so much experience means so much to me. And to see one of the finalists turn up today carrying one of his books only reaffirms the importance of what we are trying to achieve.”
Gold award winners for the ‘Booker Young Chef of the Year’ category will be announced at the Awards celebrations taking place on 1st November 2023 at the Royal & Derngate theatre. For more details on all the categories in the Weetabix Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards 2023/24, including downloading entry and nomination forms, please visit the Awards’ website – www.northamptonshirefoodanddrink.co.uk – or call Sophie on 01933 664437 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can also follow the Awards on Facebook at @foodawards or Twitter and Instagram at @foodawardsHQ or on LinkedIn at @weetabixnfadawards