Young chefs aiming to cook their way to award win

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Three budding chefs are hoping to cook their way to glory in a prestigious cooking contest after already wowing professional chefs.

The Chesterfield College students are in the running for the Young Chef of the Year 2018 award, following a Master Chef style competition judged by professional chefs, including Michelin-starred chef Rupert Rowley from Fischers Baslow Hall.

The students, Kye Homiak, from South Normanton, Ashley Pienaar, from Doe Lea and Callum Taylor, from Cresswell, who are all aged 18, each prepared a two course meal for the panel of judges.

Chefs from Fischers Baslow Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel and Peak Edge Hotel tasted each of the dishes and scored the students.

Ashley’s seasonal menu included roast duck, cauliflower and blackberry, celeriac and potato rosti with onions, broccoli and gravy followed by a summer berry tart.

He said: “My family are from South Africa and all love to cook, especially barbecues. My passion is making desserts though, particularly brownies, and one day I want to be a patisserie chef and have my own restaurant.”

Callum took a risk with his dishes, choosing to cook things he never had before. His menu included seared salmon, with roast leek, butter poached king prawns, broccoli and pea puree and almonds, followed by strawberry and elderflower fraisier.

He had to re-make his pea and broccoli puree and had to remake it seconds before serving to judges.

He said: “Although I messed up, I took it in my stride and it was a fantastic experience. I enjoyed talking to the chefs as I was cooking as it helped take my mind off how intense the competition was.”

Kye prepared pan fried sea bass with pickled fennel salad, quail egg with batter scraps and bacon followed by Yorkshire rhubarb and custard panna cotta for the judges.

He said: “I felt really nervous, but as soon as I started cooking it was fine. It was a really great experience and I felt like I was on Master Chef.”

The students will have to wait until Wednesday October 31 to learn who is the winner of the award.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony which is being held at Chesterfield College’s Heart Space Building. For more information about the awards, visit