For the third year in a row, a youngster from Horsham has been crowned the winner of Young Chef, Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland’s national competition.
Lewis Wilson, aged 15, saw off over 5,000 young people to win the trophy after competing in the finals on Saturday, April 25. Lewis was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Horsham, which has produced the winners for the two previous years.
The budding chef astounded the judges with his outstanding three-course menu, which included:
Starter: Seared mackerel served with pickled and charred fennel and a blackberry dressing
Mains: Roast breast of Gressingham Duck served with wild mushrooms, asparagus and quinoa
Dessert: Apple tart served with poached rhubarb and elderflower cream
Lewis attends the The Forest School, which is where he first discovered his passion for cooking thanks to the school’s catering teacher Malcolm Day, who also mentored the Young Chef winner from 2013.
The competition saw eight finalists competing against each other, all of whom had made it through the local and regional heats to compete at the final, which was held at Coleg Cambria in Deeside.
The prizes were donated on behalf of the competition’s sponsor Filippo Berio, and Lewis will now go on the trip of a lifetime to the Filippo Berio olive groves in Tuscany where he will experience real Italian cooking. He will also enjoy a day’s cooking tuition at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Lewis comments: “I was really surprised when they announced me as the winner, and I never believed I could get this far – it is such a great achievement. The time and effort practicing the recipes during the week obviously paid off.
“The hardest part of the competition was managing my time effectively and plating the dishes up perfectly once they were completed, and the prize to Tuscany is like the icing on the cake. I am delighted to be given this lifetime opportunity to learn new cookery skills.”
Rotary in GB&I’s Young Chef competition was created to give young people across Great Britain and Ireland the chance to display their creative talents with food, while discovering the importance of healthy eating.
Dave Smith, president of the Rotary Club of Horsham, added: “We’re incredibly proud that as a club we have supported the past three Young Chef winners. They have all displayed incredible talent and flair for cooking, and we wish Lewis the best of luck in the future – I know he’ll go far.”
For more information about youth projects in Rotary GBI, contact your local Rotary club or visit www.rotarygbi.org.