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2014 Kent Young Chef now open for entries

PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:30 10 October 2014

2013 winner Eden Allsworth with Richard Phillips

2013 winner Eden Allsworth with Richard Phillips

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The Produced in Kent organised 2014 Kent Young Chef Competition is open and you have until 24 October to get your entry in!

Now in its sixth year, the Kent Young Chef Competition encourages young people to create an original and innovative main dish featuring seasonal locally reared or grown produce from Kent’s wonderful larder. There are two awards; Junior title, years 7 and 8 and Senior, years 9 to 11.

The Live Cook Off on Friday 14 November will take place at East Kent College, Broadstairs, where four finalists from each of the two age groups will be invited to cook their dishes. Each finalist can be accompanied by two guests and must bring all their ingredients unprepared for the final.

The competition, one of the longest-running initiatives to engage young people with cookery and local produce, has historically seen incredibly high standards of cooking despite being in competition conditions.

The judges’ panel will be led by celebrity chef and Kent-based restaurateur, Richard Phillips. He will be joined by Tony Blake, commercial manager from kff, a Kent-based company committed to delivering quality direct to the catering industry.

New to the judging table for 2014 are Rob Allsworth and Luke Davis. Rob is currently a chef lecturer at East Kent College. After working in several aspects of the catering industry he became head chef of the Ringlestone Inn near Harriestsham in 1998 and in 2001 took up residency as the chef steward of a golf club.

Rob started teaching in 2009 and explained: “Teaching is natural to good chefs, we have a vision of dishes and we teach the team around us how to produce food to our specification. I was asked recently if I see myself as a chef or a teacher, I believe I am a teacher that is a chef, a chef whose priority has changed from producing some fantastic food to one that inspires some fabulous young chefs. The Kent Young Chef Award is a vital stage of developing our young chefs.”

Luke Davis is the head chef at Rowhill Grange Hotel in Wilmington, part of the Alexander Hotels Group.

Stephanie Durling, organiser said: “We are delighted to announce two new judges to the panel. Rob is a wonderful supporter of the initiative, his daughter Eden, having won both the Junior and Senior titles in the past. Luke Davis from Rowhill Grange worked with both the winners from last year when they were lucky enough to visit the Hotel this summer, to complete work experience as part of the prize package.”

The Award is sponsored by Kent Frozen Foods and new for 2014, The Kent Potato Company, (now part of Greenvale who are market leaders in the fresh produce sector) that supply retailers with high quality produce.

Prize sponsorship includes a week’s work experience at Rowhill Grange Hotel, a chef jacket and other prizes from CCS (Continental Chef Supplies) and trophies sponsored by Aford Awards. All finalists will also receive a framed certificate and a day’s work experience in one of Richard Phillips’ restaurants.

Last year’s hard-fought competition saw thirteen-year-old Benjamin Colley, from The Skinners’ School Tunbridge Wells win the Junior title for the second year running with his fine dining take on ‘Burger & Chips’. The Venison and Bone Marrow Burger, Triple Cooked Chips, Burnt Onion Rings, ‘Ben’s Burger Sauce’ and a Vanilla Milkshake, showcased his incredible talent as a young cook.

Fifteen-year-old Eden Allsworth, from Highsted Grammar School in Sittingbourne picked up her second Senior title with her imaginative Salt Marsh Lamb cooked three ways accompanied by chickpea and butternut squash ragout and buttered black cabbage. 2013 was Eden’s last year in the competition and she is now studying catering full time at East Kent College.

This year’s Kent Young Chef Award is open to all Kent School children in years 7 – 11. Full details on how to enter are available on the Produced in Kent website www.producedinkent.co.uk.

Closing date for entries is 24th October 2014.

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