Scott Wins Yes Chef Competition

Yes ChefFrom 150 students entered across Dorset, Scott qualified in our in school heat of the Yes Chef Competition and was entered for the quarter final. He then went on to cook at the White Pepper Cookery School where he qualified for the semi-final by cooking a wonderful dish of Pea, Mint and Pancetta Ravioli. The semi-final was held at Flavours Cookery School in Bournemouth and Scott won the hearts of the judges with his pan fried Salmon Fillet served with Hollandaise Sauce and followed by Cherry Bakewell Tart and Chantilly Cream.

The final was held at the 4 star Highcliffe Marriot Hotel in Bournemouth. Scott and three other finalists had to cook and three course meal for 40 invited guests. Scott’s dishes wowed the judges and the guests. It was no surprise when he was awarded First Place. Scott will now open the show kitchen at the Bournemouth Food Festival in June when he will cook 2 of his winning dishes in public.

Winter Vegetable Soup served with a Drizzle of Chilli Oil and handmade Croutons

Roulade of Chicken stuffed with Chorizo and Sun Dried Tomatoes served with Pommes Anna.

Cherry Bakewell Tart served with Chantilly Cream

The Yes Chef competition was sponsored by Harvest Fine Foods and Stalbridge Linen and supported by the White Pepper, Flavours Cookery School and Marriot Hotels

Scott’s Message

Back in October I went to a regular lesson of HALO and we were informed that we were all going to be taking part in a cooking competition. I asked what we had to cook and was told soup followed by a mousse with shortbread. At first I was a bit anxious as I had never made either of the dishes. However my catering and HALO teacher said that she would give me lots of help and teach me many different ways of making both dishes.

Finally the day arrived after lots of anticipation and worries but it all went absolutely fine. I had to cook both dishes in under 1.5 hours which at first intimidating, but it flew past because it was so fun and interesting. After finishing we were told that four other students and I all from our school had got through to cook at the White Pepper Cookery School in Lytchett Matravers where I would have to make a fresh ravioli and sauce, followed by a sweet dish that we would told about on the day. Therefore, I practised and practised over and over again, failing many times but then finally cracking it and getting it right.

Again this followed days of anticipation and worry. Then the day finally came, one of my fellow students and I arrived to find a small barn with a cookery school inside. We went in while the previous round of students were just clearing up to finish as the students from the other school were arriving to cook with alongside me. When other students had left we were told what was going to happen, what our sweet dish would be, and to my relief it was a basic Victoria sponge cake! This was to me was the biggest relief of my life. For when I leave school I want like to study the sweet side of catering (patisserie).

As the day progressed I cooked my pasta and my cake then served it up. We were told we would not know if we had got through to the next round for some time. Then the following week I got an email from my teacher telling me that I had got through to the semi-finals. I was very, very happy!

The semi-finals were held at The Flavours School of Cookery. I was informed that I had to cook a salmon dish followed by a pudding using the list of store cupboard ingredients given to me beforehand. I worked out that with the ingredients list I could make a Cherry Bakewell tart. After plating up and being judged on the day we were told out of eight, only four were going to be put through to the final. At that point I was unsure who was going to be picked. But then they read out my name including 3 girls from other schools.

The final would be held at a 4 star hotel on the Bournemouth Cliffs and I had to make the soup, from the first round, followed by a chicken dish of my choice and finished with either chocolate mousse or the Cherry Bakewell Tart. Finally I decided that I was going to make a curried root vegetable soup, chicken wrapped in pancetta stuffed with chorizo and sun dried tomato cream cheese with Pommes Anna, a Cherry Bakewell tart with Chantilly cream.

On the day of the final I arrived at Bournemouth Highcliffe Marriott Hotel at 9 am, where we all met the Head Chef and his staff. We were given our Chef Whites with our names embroidered on them, then a tour of the kitchen and shown where everything is and how they worked.

I started to take in my surroundings to get used to where I was cooking and figure what I had to do first. So I started cooking and after 4 hours of intense cooking it was finally over. We were asked to leave the kitchen and go out to where all the guests were sat, including my teacher, my parents and the mayor of Bournemouth. Different people made speeches and then came the time of announcing the winner. When my name was said at first I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t even think she said my name. Nevertheless she did and I had won which meant I got my own set of professional chef’s knives. Now I have been in the Bournemouth Echo, and I will open the Bournemouth Food Festival with Head Chef Matt Budden from Highcliff Marriott.

Winning this competition means the world to me it’s the beginning of the rest of my life. I have been cooking all my life and it runs in the family. I can put it on my CV which employers will read and will hopefully be impressed and employ me. I would especially like to thank Karen Arnold for giving me the opportunity to do this competition and Phil Clark from harvest fine food for providing the food for me to cook with and all the chefs that I have met on this journey which I will never forget.