The cream of the area’s young culinary talent will go head-to-head next week in the first live battle to become Eat Sheffield’s Young Chef of the Year.
The contest, co-ordinated by the Sheffield Telegraph, attracted nominations from head chefs across the city.
These were whittled down to a shortlist of ten and then just three – who will meet on Wednesday in Hallam University’s specialist kitchens to put their skills to the test.
The finalists are Drew Snaith of Fancie, Sebastian Rosh-Wood of Graze Inn, both in Ecclesall Road, and Alfie Olinski of Losehill House Hotel in Hope.
They will have two hours to create two identical dishes from a bag of mystery items – including three supplied by sponsors MSK Specialist Ingredients.
The Dronfield-based team, masters of molecular gastronomy, supply innovative equipment, flavourings and potions to some of the nation’s top chefs – including Heston Blumenthal.
Set up by Kevin Bateman and Stephan Priest, the company has developed a scientific approach to cooking that gives food the ‘wow’ factor while maintaining its nutritional qualities.
But the face of MSK is Dublin-born chef Vicky Endersen.
She worked with some of the industry’s top names, including Paul Rankin, Aiden Byrne, John Burton Race and Tom Aikens, until joining MSK in 2006 as development chef. Her role focuses on creating products and training specifically for the restaurant industry.
“There’s nothing new in food,” she says. “But we’re constantly evolving. Our brochure is like the chefs’ toyshop.”
Vicky will be one of the judges at Wednesday’s event.