West Cheshire College played host to the semi-final of the CH1ChesterBID Sous Chef Challenge as top chefs from across Chester city centre battled it out to reach the final stage of the competition.
Chefs from a range of bars and restaurants were competing for one of four places to cook in the final at the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival this Easter, which will be judged by Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace.
Chairman of judges and Harthill Cookery School owner, Brian Mellor described the competition as both tense and exciting as he explained: “It’s always exciting when you get young chefs cooking in competitions. They have such energy and brilliant, exciting ideas with their cooking and then we put them under the pressure of both time to produce the dish and being judged against their peers. There were a lot of nerves but mostly some outstanding cooking. I know that Gregg Wallace will be impressed by the standard of our Sous Chefs in the final and if they can control their nerves in front of a packed audience we will be in a for a real battle”
The four finalists are:
Harry Redmayne from Barlounge, cooked the most delicate, chicken breast with Cheshire chorizo cream, fondant potato, roast baby carrots and braised spring onions and will cook in Heat 1 at midday
Jack Hughes from the Coach House produced a dish of immense quality featuring mint crusted rack of lamb with sweet potato fondant, lamb tagine, aubergine caviar with a chilli and coriander yoghurt who will also be in Heat 1.
Sergio Alonso of Chez Jules excelled with his dish of hake filled with red pepper and asparagus, lobster gel, pickled romesco and olive oil powder, who will cook in Heat 2 at 3.00pm.
Mike Hodges of Upstairs at the Grill, pulled off the high risk dish, delivering a Custard Souffle with a rhubarb crumble and sorbet with a Cheshire gin, rhubarb and custard shot, and will also cook in Heat 2.
All four finalists will compete on Sunday 27th March at the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival in the hope of being crowned the CH1Chester BID Sous Chef Champion.
Emily Ghazarain, Events Manager for CH1Chester BID, said: “The judges commented on the extremely high standard produced by all the contestants, which just highlights how vibrant and exciting the restaurant scene is in Chester with so many talented young chefs. Our congratulations go to the four finalists and we look forward to crowning our champion after what is sure to be a hotly contested final.”