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News: West­min­ster vis­it has dis­tinct­ly Ital­ian flavour!

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l-r Kim and Elisha with their risotto creations
l-r Kim and Elisha with their risotto creations

With politics and parliament always in the news at the moment, two Nottingham students are off to Westminster for a very different reason on 21 January.

Kim Sharp and Elisha John­son, both 18, are at West­min­ster Col­lege Lon­don to com­pete for the title of Riso Gal­lo Young Risot­to Chef of the Year. Top prize is a work place­ment at top chef Angela Hart­nett MBE’s Miche­lin-starred May­fair restau­rant, Murano. 

The first round of the com­pe­ti­tion called on bud­ding chefs aged between 18 and 25 from across the coun­try to sub­mit a recipe and a pho­to­graph of their own risot­to recipe, along with an expla­na­tion of how they felt win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion would enhance their cater­ing career. 

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Mid-way through a practice session!

Kim, from Bul­well, and Elisha, from Huck­nall, are both study­ing towards their Lev­el 2 Pro­fes­sion­al Chef’s Diplo­ma at Not­ting­ham Col­lege, and thanks to their suc­cess in the first round, both have now been short­list­ed to be part of a live cook-off with the top five entrants. 

Kim impressed the judges with her fan­tas­ti­cal­ly fes­tive Brus­sels sprout, chest­nut and pancetta risot­to, while Elisha is hop­ing to wow the judges with her flavour­some but­ter­nut squash, radic­chio and goat’s cheese dish. 

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The roasting brings out the flavour of the butternut squash.

The annu­al com­pe­ti­tion is organ­ised by Riso Gal­lo, rice and grain spe­cial­ist and supplier. 

Judges include top chefs includ­ing head chef at Gor­don Ramsay’s Union Street Café, Davide Degio­van­ni; for­mer Pro­fes­sion­al Mas­terChef final­ist, Dani­lo Cortelli­ni; and Head Chef at Mura­no, Oscar Holgado. 

The win­ner will receive an all-expens­es paid, three-day work expe­ri­ence at Mura­no, and their recipe will also be fea­tured in Gor­don Ramsay’s Union Street Café in Lon­don, for one week. One lucky run­ner-up will win a three-day cook­ing expe­ri­ence with Exec­u­tive Chef, Dani­lo Cortelli­ni, at The Ital­ian Embassy in Lon­don, for the plan­ning and exe­cu­tion of a gala dinner. 

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Kim plating up

I’ve always liked cook­ing, and I’m inter­est­ed in a career in hotel man­age­ment, or even to own my own restau­rant one day. 

This com­pe­ti­tion is giv­ing me expe­ri­ence of work­ing with chefs and of a timed chal­lenge. My fam­i­ly are proud that I’m com­pet­ing, and Sam our Chef Lec­tur­er has giv­en us loads of sup­port too. 

 — Kim
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Elisha perfecting her technique ahead of the competition.

I’ve always want­ed to run my own restau­rant one day. I think this com­pe­ti­tion gives us a real chance to impress the judges and opens up oppor­tu­ni­ties for us in the industry. 

I chose my risot­to recipe because I real­ly want­ed to use veg­eta­bles that are in season. 

 — Elisha

Sam North, Chef Lec­tur­er at Not­ting­ham Col­lege, has sup­port­ed the stu­dents through the com­pe­ti­tion. He said: We are so proud of Elisha and Kim, and it was great to see all four Not­ting­ham Col­lege stu­dent entrants mak­ing it into the top 20 in the country.

This is a fan­tas­tic oppor­tu­ni­ty for Kim and Elisha to expe­ri­ence a Mas­terchef-style’ com­pe­ti­tion envi­ron­ment, sam­ple the food at one of Gor­don Ram­say’s restau­rants, and com­pete for a prize that will be a huge asset on their CV.” 

Published on:
  • 21st January 2019 (11:26 AM)
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