Lee Brown from The Brew House in Bolton wins 2013 Lancashire Young Chef of the Year
PUBLISHED: 11:36 13 June 2013 | UPDATED: 11:36 13 June 2013
A duck egg and a stick of rhubarb helps the young chef from Blackburn win a top award.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN COCKS
Most young men would struggle to boil an egg. Lee Brown took one, of the duck variety, and turned it into a custard tart with ‘textures’ of rhubarb, which had been poached, pureed and turned into a jelly.
He also enlisted the help of some ribbons and a lollipop for his menu. Any mum would be proud of this lad’s skills, especially as that delicious dessert helped him to secure the title of Lancashire Young Chef of the Year. He will now be going for the north west title at the finals this month. Lee, head chef from The Brew House in Bolton, pitted his culinary skills at Blackpool and The Fylde College against some of the region’s top young professionals.
After being named the winner, Lee said: ‘I can’t believe I’ve won. I tried so hard, and did lots of practice. I’ve been really nervous. I’ve not slept!’
Lee, who comes from Blackburn, entered last year but narrowly missed out on a place in the final, pipped by Lewis Gallagher, of Stanley House, who went on to take the overall North West Young Chef title.
‘I wanted to come back this year and win it and prove to the judges I’d listened to their feedback and built on it,’ he said.
When asked who inspires him, Lee named last year’s winner. ‘I know Lewis and I have followed his progress. I saw that by entering the competition you come into contact with other chefs who can show me more sides to catering and help you progress.’
For the heat, Lee’s menu consisted of a starter of seared Morecambe Bay sea trout with risotto flavoured with beetroot. His main course was duck, fondant potatoes, a potato wrapped duck lollipop, beurre noisette broccoli puree, carrot ribbons and wilted wild garlic leaves.
But it was his dessert which wowed the judges. ‘It always amazes me how the young chefs bring so much imagination to our competition,’ said judge Nigel Crane, who is managing director of Essential Cuisine.
‘They really do their homework when it comes to the ingredients, where they come from and who supplies them. Their menus are varied and this shows us their skills as chefs, ultimately it is the ones who put the most effort in to their preparation get the most out.’
Stephen Williamson and Dennis Talbot from The Lune Valley Smokehouse, sponsors for the Lancashire heat, presented prizes to all the finalists and the winner received a professional knife.
It looks like Lancashire’s culinary scene will be in good hands for many years to come.
The young ones
If you want to sample some of the food produced by the finalists, here they are: Winner Lee Brown, head chef at The Brew House in Bolton; Paul Mackellar from Foxholes Restaurant, Leyland; Daniel Caldwell from the Ribchester Arms, Ribchester; Aaron Pratt from Red Cat Restaurant, Chorley; Jack Neild from The Villa, Clitheroe and Jordan Tyson from The Alma Inn at Laneshawbridge.