One Million Reasons to Visit Lancashire

29 March 2012

A young chef from Grill on the Hill at Stanley House in Mellor is celebrating after being awarded Lancashire Young Chef of the Year for the second year in a row. 

Lewis Gallagher secured this title by winning the Essential Cuisine Sponsored Lancashire Heat of the North West Young Chef Competition on 29th March 2012 at Blackpool & The Fylde College. It is the third year running that a chef from Stanley House has won the Lancashire Heat.

Lewis did battle against Blackpool & The Fylde College student Lisa Lawson, Daniel Caldwell from Nutters Restaurant, Lee Brown from The Chetham Arms, and Gary Hind from Holland Hall Hotel.

During the cook off at Blackpool and Fylde College, Lewis cooked up a winning trio of dishes starting with Ravioli of Yellison’s Goats Cheese, Cumbrian Air Dried Ham Cannelloni and Ormskirk Onions. When asked about sourcing the ham Lewis said “Cumbrian air dried ham is similar to the more commonly used prosciutto and Parma ham, one of the gems of the north west, it is highly regarded by chefs from the region and this is why I opted to use it”.

For his main course Lewis cooked Stuffed Saddle of Goosnargh Rabbit, Morecambe Bay Langoustines, Hand Picked Dandelion and Lemongrass Nage.  Lewis completed his menu with Reg Johnson’s Duck Egg Custard with Textures of Eddisbury Rhubarb.

Lewis was “over the moon” to win the Lancashire heat again. When asked how he went about planning his menu, Lewis said “I invested time visiting the suppliers and producers of the ingredients I used and made the most of all the great produce right on my doorstep”.  He went on to say “there is a lot of knowledge that I can gain from the senior chefs at Stanley House.  There is a wealth of experience that I can tap into”.

The judges on the day were Chairman of Judges Brian Mellor and Matt Johnson from the Villa Country House Hotel in Wrea Green.   The third judge on the day was Steven Smith from The Freemasons at Wiswell.  Brian Mellor said “Steven was the first ever winner of the North West Young Chef of the Year competition, so it’s great to have him involved, especially as this is the 10th anniversary of the competition.”

Steven was impressed by the standard and confidence shown by all five young chefs, but also added “Lewis stood out without a shadow of a doubt. He has every chance of winning the final by just making a few refinements”.

Lewis will now go on to represent Lancashire at the North West Young Chef Competition Final on 12th June at Manchester College in Didsbury.  For more information on the North West Young Chef of the Year competition visit www.essentialcuisine.com.

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