The four finalists of the CH1ChesterBID Sous Chef Challenge have been announced.
Harry Redmayne from Barlounge, Jack Hughes from the Coach House, Sergio Alonso of Chez Jules and Mike Hodges of Upstairs at the Grill will now battle it out at the Chester Food Drink and Lifestyle Festival at Easter.
The semi-final of the contest took place at West Cheshire College where Harry cooked chicken breast with Cheshire chorizo cream, fondant potato, roast baby carrots and braised spring onions; Jack produced a dish of mint crusted rack of lamb with sweet potato fondant, lamb tagine, aubergine caviar with a chilli and coriander yoghurt; Sergio offered hake filled with red pepper and asparagus, lobster gel, pickled romesco and olive oil powder and Mike pulled off a custard souffle with a rhubarb crumble and sorbet with a Cheshire gin, rhubarb and custard shot.
Chairman of judges and Harthill Cookery School owner Brian Mellor said: “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.”
The final, which will take place at Chester Racecourse on Sunday, March 27 this year, will be judged by Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace.
Brian added: “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.”
Events manager for CH1Chester BID Emily Ghazarain 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.”
For more information visit www.chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk.