Which young chef will be name the best in Suffolk?

Harvey's starter Picture: Stephanie Griffin

Harvey's starter Picture: Stephanie Griffin - Credit: Archant

Competitors battled it out this week in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020 live cook-off.

Hayden's main course Picture: Stephanie Griffin

Hayden's main course Picture: Stephanie Griffin - Credit: Archant

Eight junior chefs from across Suffolk battled it out on Monday to become finalists in the Young Chef of the Year category of the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2020.

Brad Finbrow of The King's Arms, Haughley, Harvey Thompson of Tuddenham Mill, Hayden Jay of The Greyhound, Jordan Ryan of The Weeping Willow, Keiran Polley of The Levington Ship, Sam Austin of The Swan Hotel, and Scott Morton-Tonkins and Tom Rayson, both of The Northgate, each prepared two courses in the kitchens of West Suffolk College's Edmunds restaurant.

They were cooking for judges Jon Matthews of sponsor Bidfood, food writer Tessa Allingham, chefs Lee Bye and Nick Claxton-Webb, West Suffolk College's Mike Mulvihill and last year's winner Moraine Pepper.

Talking about the event, Mike, who champions young chefs at the college, said: "The Academy of Culinary Arts has hosted these two prestigious events for the last three years. It is one of the highlights of our calendar . To see so many talented chefs from this area competing at such a high level is fantastic especially as over the last two years we have seen a number of our ex-students competing."

Judges talk to the young cooks Picture: Stephanie Griffin

Judges talk to the young cooks Picture: Stephanie Griffin - Credit: Archant

Jon Matthews of sponsor Bidfood added: "The competition this year was very closely contested by the young chefs. Throwing in an unexpected egg challenge helped give the six judges an idea of their basic skillset. They didn't disappoint. Then on to the main event, two courses in two hours using local produce. The standard of cooking was exemplary and a lot of very different dishes were showcased by the young chefs. My fellow judges and I had to deliberate for some time looking at the points awarded and the overall performance to eventually name a winner. And that is...you'll have to wait till the awards evening!"

Four of the eight chefs will be invited to the awards ceremony this April, in its new location of The Arc, Bury St Edmunds, where the overall winner will be announced.

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Kieran's starter Picture: Stephanie Griffin

Kieran's starter Picture: Stephanie Griffin - Credit: Archant

Brad Finbow: Grandad's allotment - roasted squash soup with a pumpkin seed cracker, followed by loin of Suffolk pork with garlic potato terrine, charred baby gem and a pork and cider jus.

Harvey Thompson: Celeriac and Baron Bigod rarebit, pickled onions, truffle and onion consomme, followed by pan-fried hake with salsify, mushroom puree, winter chanterelles, chicken skin and chicken sauce.

Hayden Jay: Salmon with samphire and mussels, followed by chocolate fondant with a salted caramel sauce and toasted hazelnuts.

Jordan Ryan: Denham Estate venison haunch with hill farm oyster mushroom, barley, turnip and Brewshed dark ale, followed by pear and malt mille feuille with poached pear and malt and vanilla crème patissiere.

Keiran Polley: Pan-fried scallops with butternut squash puree and crispy pancetta, followed by pan-fried venison loin with roasted parsnips, Bucklesham cavolo nero, girolles, red wine sauce, blackberries and dark chocolate.

Sam Austin: Roasted Jerusalem artichoke agnolotti with Parmesan and lemon sauce and truffle, followed by roasted Suffolk pigeon breast, fried leg, wild mushroom fricassee, mushroom caramel and roasted hasselback potatoes.

Scott Morton-Tonkins: Spiced lamb Cumberland sausage with roasted artichoke cream, pickles, confit rapeseed salsify and jus, followed by pickled walnut and malt cake with Baron Bigod and preserved green figs.

Tom Rayson: Dexter beef tartare with horseradish and pickled beetroot, followed by pan-roasted cod with a cockle salsa, browned cauliflower and sweet and sour apple.

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