Cameron Norris wins Lancashire Young Chef of the Year 2015 award
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 May 2015
Mark Carr Photography
Despite just two hours of sleep the young chef follows in the footsteps of his boss to win county title
The only thing Cameron Norris burned was the midnight oil as he perfected a delicious menu which secured him the title of Lancashire Young Chef of the Year 2015.
Six of the county’s top young chefs battled it out but Cameron, from Stanley House Hotel and Spa at Mellor, cooked his way to the top during a fierce final at Preston College.
The 21-year-old pastry chef de partie faced tough competition from the region’s talented youngsters - Matthew Lees from The Highwayman, at Nether Burrow, Liam Anderson from Freemasons at Wiswell, Daniel Caldwell from The Blackbull Inn, Christian Richardson from Eagle and Child, Ramsbottom, and Brad Scrace from Northcote at Langho.
‘This was my first competition, and I’ve put in so much hard work,’ said Cameron. ‘I was in the kitchen until the early hours, so I was cooking on just two hours sleep.
‘Stanley House have been brilliant in supporting me. I was given loads of encouragement by my executive chef Steve Williams, but especially by Lewis Gallagher, my head pastry chef, who won the whole competition back in 2012. It was great to hear his experiences and get his feedback on my dishes.’
Cameron’s starter was hand dived king scallops, with an unusual twist of cauliflower risotto and bhaji. His main was Goosnargh duck, smoked beetroot, gnocchi and polenta, which the judges thought had good flavour combinations. Cameron completed his winning menu with a delicate dessert of yoghurt pannacotta, rhubarb, and honey, taken from a bee hive which he adopted especially for the purpose of knowing where his ingredients came from.
The judges on the day were chairman Brian Mellor, the managing director of sponsors, Essential Cuisine, Nigel Crane, and Contract Catering chef Andy Wardle.
The competiton looks for chefs under the age of 23 to cook a three course meal for two featuring local and seasonal produce.
Cameron will now attend a master class with an acclaimed chef to hone skills with the industry’s best, before going on to compete against the other regional winners in the final of North West Young Chef Competition, at Manchester College.