Otley teenage chef Oliver takes aim at the Golden Apron

Otley’s Oliver Robinson, far right, with chef James Mackenzie, of the Michelin starred Pipe and Glass, second from left, with James Fawcett and  Georgie Smithson-Brown

Otley’s Oliver Robinson, far right, with chef James Mackenzie, of the Michelin starred Pipe and Glass, second from left, with James Fawcett and Georgie Smithson-Brown

First published in Local news
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A teenager from Otley is among three talented chefts who have reached the final of a prestigious cookery competition run jointly by a Michelin-starred chef and a leading cookery school.

The title of the Golden Apron 2014 will be awarded to Yorkshire’s best young chef on Monday, April 7.

The competition was open to young chefs aged between 14 and 19 from across the county.

The three finalists are: Oliver Robinson, 15, from Otley, who is at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, and studies hospitality and cookery once a week on day release at Leeds City College; Jake Fawcett, 18, from Wakefield, who is studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery at Wakefield College; and Georgie Smithson-Brown, 14, from Great Hatfield, near Hornsea, who is a pupil at Hornsea School.

The Golden Apron is an initiative from James Mackenzie of the Pipe and Glass, South Dalton, near Beverley – one of only five Michelin-starred chefs in Yorkshire – and Tim Rymer of the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR, both based at Southburn, near Driffield.

The competition is sponsored by food suppliers Cranswick plc and Sainsbury’s.

The three finalists have already cooked their way through two heats at the cookery school. At the first, they produced a pork dish to their own recipe, and at the second, the semi-final, a two-course dinner from James’ recipes for salmon tartare with hot smoked salmon scotch egg and pickled samphire, followed by forced Yorkshire rhubarb with parkin and rum chantilly.

They will now cook alongside James and his team at The Pipe and Glass on April 7 to produce a gala dinner for invited guests.

One contestant will then be named as The Golden Apron 2014, and be given a work placement with Cranswick plc, working on the Sainsbury's account with their new product development team.

Oliver reached the semi-finals of the competition last year, and is delighted to have got a stage further this year. He said: “It feels great – it means that I’m developing as a chef.”

James Mackenzie said: “There was fierce competition this year – we’ve seen some great cooking in both heats. I can’t wait to work alongside these three in my kitchen and really push them to their limits.”

JSR chairman Tim Rymer said: “The standard of dishes served to us by these young chefs was really impressive. They would not be out of place in any fine dining restaurant.”

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