Launched by Blackburn College in partnership with top chefs Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote MBE, the ‘Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition’ celebrates the late Reg Johnson’s legacy of encouraging talent and innovation within the hospitality and catering industry, with Reg famous for putting Goosnargh on the map by founding the UK’s most foremost poultry producer Johnson and Swarbrick.
Helping to bridge the gap between industry and education, the competition saw junior chefs from across the region submit their ideas for dishes, with the best ones being chosen to take part in a series of heats at Blackburn College on Monday 16th April.
Representing Accrington Academy were Year 9 students Malaika, Amelia, Tariq and Rhys, who had to design a dish using a range of ingredients including duck breasts, potatoes, milk, cream, eggs, butter, garlic, ginger, vegetables and herbs.
Rhys and Tariq served up pan seared peppered duck with vanilla mash, pea and pear puree and plum sauce, whilst Amelia and Malaika created a duck ragu tagliatelle.
Commenting on their efforts, Blackburn College’s Paul Sharples said:
“The judges were really impressed with Rhys, Tariq, Amelia and Malaika’s applications, especially with the level of research they had done and the use of local ingredients. The judges were also impressed with the innovation in their dish selection.”
Commented Accrington Academy’s Head of School, Nicola Palmer:
“For Malaika, Amelia, Tariq and Rhys to have been chosen to take part in the regional heats was a real achievement and they were a credit to both themselves and the academy. Their participation also helps demonstrate the academy’s commitment to the provision of an ‘Education with Character.’”