The search is on to find the best young chef in Hull and East Yorkshire.
Organised by the Hull and East Riding Hospitality Association and now in its eleventh year, the Copper Saucepan competition seeks to discover the Apprentice Chef of the Year and culminates with a live cook-off as part of the Beverley Food Festival in October.
The winner will receive £300 and a trophy. The runner-up receives £100 and both finalists will also get the chance to spend a day in the kitchens of the acclaimed Winteringham Fields restaurant alongside celebrity chef Colin McGurran, twice a winner on the Great British Menu television series.
Launching this year’s competition, Paul Vinsen, chairman of the hospitality association (HEYHA), said: “This competition is designed to encourage and showcase the up-and-coming young talents of the industry. Catering has become a popular career choice, thanks to the power of television and the celebrities it creates, and now more than ever we are seeing some real talent coming through at a young age.”
There is no upper age limit for participants - the competition is open to anyone currently working in the catering industry with four years or less experience. An entry form is available on the HEYHA website (www.heyha.co.uk). Deadline for entries is June 9.
Initially, they will be asked to devise a three-course menu which will be judged on the quality and uniqueness of the dishes, including the use of good quality local produce. From those entries a shortlist of entrants will be drawn up and invited to prepare their menu in no more than two hours in a cook-off at Hull College on Monday June 26. Dishes will be judged on flavour and execution.
The two finalists will then be chosen and invited to cook a two-course meal, live on stage, in no more than 30 minutes, at Beverley Food Festival on Sunday October 1.
Past winners of the Copper Saucepan trophy have gone on to further their careers, working in some of the region’s finest restaurants. “With the competition going from strength to strength, we’re really hoping for a bumper entry,” said Mr Vinsen.
Past winners have come from Lazaat in Cottingham, Tickton Grange Hotel, The Lairgate Hotel, Beverley, the Pipe & Glass, South Dalton (twice), the Millhouse, Cottingham, Hallmark Hotel, North Ferriby, and the Star at Sancton.
Last year, Connor Berney, of the Ashbourne Hotel, Killingholme, triumphed in the final in a cook-off against Vicky Martin, of the Holiday Inn Hull Marina.