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Lancashire’s top young chef is a man for all seasons
A RIBBLE Valley chef cooked up a storm to be crowned Lancashire Young Chef of the Year.
Budding gastronomist Lewis Gallagher, from Blackburn, took the prestigious title after winning the Lancashire heats of the North West competition, at Blackpool and Fylde College.
The 20-year-old, who has worked at Stanley House Hotel, in Mellor, since 2010, fought off tough competition from five other regional chefs to take the crown.
The former Blackburn College student used locally-sourced produce to create a menu of mackerel starter, duck breast main course, finished off with a rhubarb, yoghurt mousse and basil dessert.
He said: “Since I found out about the competition I have been scouring the local area for the best seasonal produce.
“I found April to be quite a difficult month as to what ingredients were available to me, but my menu is based on my best attempts at working with the seasons, which is why I think I stood out to the judges.”
Lewis will now go on to represent the county at the North West finals in June, where he will compete for the North West Young Chef of the Year 2011 title in the Essential Cuisine competition.
The former St Bede’s High School pupil said: “Catering was not my first-choice career, but what was a job at the age of 16 became somewhat more of a passion and I have followed it through and intend to keep on going.”
Andrew Parker, head chef at the hotel, said: “He’s extremely humble and, for someone so young, he is certainly one to watch as a rising star in the profession.”
The grand final is at Manchester College, Didsbury, on June 8.