The final of the Nottingham Restaurant & Bar Awards’ Best Young Talent, Back of House Award, took place at our Adams Restaurant & Brasserie this week (6th November), with Phil Tomlinson (College Faculty Area Manager for Catering & Hospitality) as one of the guest judges.
Numerous applications were received from venues across the city and county which were poured over by the judges and eventually whittled down to a final four. They were:
Nino Alvarez, the eldest at 23 years of age, representing Iberico World Tapas, whose menu was - for mains, pigeon in Autumn, and for dessert, heavenly mud with poached pear.
20 year old Callum Dovey, also from Iberico World Tapas, cooked, for mains, roast chicken, langoustine, salt baked celeriac with dill and bisque, and for dessert, quince and Earl Grey souffle with honey ice cream.
Thomas Brown, another 20 year old, this time from Escabeche in West Bridgford, opted, for mains, pan roast duck breast with butternut squash and blackberry jus, and for dessert, chocolate and hazelnut mousse.
And finally, 22 year old Kailam Arrowsmith from The Old Volunteer in Caythorpe, cooked, for mains, ‘It’s a game’ - whole roasted partridge served with a red wine jus, baby carrots and baked celeriac mash, and for dessert, apple tarte tatin served with burnt cream.
The cook-off was a tense affair and took place under the watchful eyes of Faculty Area Manager for Catering & Hospitality at Nottingham College, Phil Tomlinson, industry judge, chef and owner of the Tickled Trout in Barlow Derbyshire, Chris Mapp, and from industry sponsors, Owen Taylor & Sons, Managing Director, Richard Taylor.
Phil Tomlinson said: "It was an honour to be one of the judges of a competition that showcases the amazing young talent we have in the local industry. The commitment and passion shown by all finalists is a credit to them and their establishments. At Nottingham College we believe that working alongside industry to offer the best teaching and industry experience is the way forward to ensure young chefs develop the best skills and professional attitude to match their passion for Catering and Hospitality – this competition is a perfect example of that liaison at its best."
Fellow judge, Chris Mapp, is also a champion of these competitions believing that it all helps to provide a stronger platform for individuals wanting to make their mark in the hospitality sector. He comments “We need individuals with drive and commitment coming into, and more importantly, remaining, in the industry.
Competitions give the youngsters a showcase for their passion but, importantly, make them think about what makes a good restaurant dish, how it breaks down, the costs and so on. It all helps to make them a more rounded, as well as talented, chef.” He adds “The competition was tough and these young chefs rose to the challenge.”
All of the finalists have been invited to the Awards Ceremony to be held at Colwick Hall Hotel on the 31st January 2018 at which time the winner will be announced. We wish them all the very best of luck!
Photo: Judges. LtoR. Phil Tomlinson, Richard Taylor, Chris Mapp, Jim Tippett