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WATCH: Young chefs battle to be named the best in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 11:27 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:27 22 March 2019

The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019

The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Archant 2019

Cooks from across the county took part in a cook-off for the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019 and the finals are today.

The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Eight talented cooks from across the county have been putting their skills to the test in a bid to be named Young Chef of the Year in the Eat Suffolk Food and Drink Awards 2019.

In the first heat the entrants were asked to prepare a two course, seasonal menu for judges, with four finalists (who will remain a secret until the finalist announcements in April) battling it out for the crown today (March 22).

Both cook-offs have taken place in the kitchens on Edmunds restaurant at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, and judges included Jon Matthews of sponsor Bidfood, Tessa Allingham, Lee Bye, Nick Claxton-Webb and Jessica Noye.

The young chefs who took part in the first stages were…

The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Abigail De-Ats of Tuddenham Mill – Abigail cooked pan-fried fillet of cod on a tomato fondue finished with sliced mussels, tempura mussels, mussel soup, brown shrimps and wild garlic. This was followed by fennel panna cotta covered in crushed brandy snaps with fennel and apple granita, muscovado caramel, fresh apple and fennel.

Alex Cornwell of All Saints Hotel – Alex made a thermidor of crayfish tails, caviar, dill, foraged sea herbs and Wooster’s Bakery croutons. To follow there was Earl Stonham Farm Wagyu beef bavette with potato terrine, gherkin ketchup, cockles, foraged sea herbs and a stock sauce.

Crystal Newton of All Saints Hotel – As a main course Crystal made Denham Estate venison loin with celeriac puree, potato terrine, purple sprouting broccoli and Pump Street 75% Madagascar chocolate. As a dessert she prepared Wooster’s Bakery sourdough tart, Fen Farm Dairy raw milk ice cream and Paddy and Scott coffee granita.

Ellie Smy of The Fox Inn – Ellie made a starter of smoked salmon Scotch egg with dill and lemon Stokes mayonnaise. As a main course she pan-fried the Wild Meat Company’s wood pigeon breast in rosemary, thyme and garlic and served this with fondant potato, blueberry jus, pureed roasted beetroot, crispy bacon and cavolo nero.

The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College.
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2019The Suffolk Food And Drink Awards, Young Chef Cook Off being judged at the West Suffolk College. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019

Jordan Ryan of The Chestnut Group – As a starter Jordan made fillet of mackerel with rhubarb puree, poached rhubarb, sliced radish and watercress. Next there was a duo of rump of lamb and lamb sweetbreads with cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, potato fondant and jus.

Justin Skinner of Tuddenham Mill – Justin’s starter was hand-dived scallops with vermouth cream, kohlrabi, aubergine puree and smoked roe. Next up was locally shot venison fillet with broccoli puree, seasonal wild mushrooms, leek two ways and a red wine jus.

Moraine Pepper of The Northgate Hotel – Moraine made a vol-au-vent with Pakenham mill wholemeal flour and filled it with mushrooms, pickles, nettle puree and parsley oil on a poached local duck egg. As a dessert there was local rapeseed oil sponge, Champagne and hibiscus jelly, poached rhubarb and honey and orange diplomat.

Swann Auffray of The Great House – As a starter Swann made mackerel gravadlax with fennel purre, a cream sauce infused with orange and orange-scented pickled fennel. To follow this was pan-fried guineafowl supreme with cauliflower puree, cauliflower concasse, glazed cauliflower, pan-fried spinach pousse, and onion, white wine and whole grain mustard reduction finished with cream and butter.

If you would like to be at the awards, to be held on April 29 at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall, contact Stephanie.griffin@archant.co.uk

Tickets are £75 per person plus VAT for the black tie dinner, including reception drinks, a three course meal with wine on the table, and the awards ceremony to follow.

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