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Rockliffe Hall Awards Aspiring Chefs of the Year 2019

Four young catering students from Darlington College have been named Rockliffe Hall’s “Aspiring Chefs of the Year” and will now showcase their talents at one of the dining events at the five star resort’s forthcoming Festival of Food.

Students studying Levels 2 and 3 Professional Cookery or Patisserie and Confectionary courses at the college were invited to create an aspirational three course banqueting lunch menu, inspired by the North East of England.


Today (Thursday 17th January) a winner was announced for each of the starter, main course and dessert categories, following a cook off and judging by the three Executive Chefs from Rockliffe Hall, Richard Allen, Aaron Craig and Paul O’Hara and Steph Crooks, Brasserie Sous Chef. The judges were so impressed with the dishes that they announced a fourth winner, who will create an additional fish course at the special luncheon so guests will enjoy an extra course.


The winners:


Starter Course – Brandon Vize, 18, from Catterick

Beetroot Crumbed Goats Cheese with Candied Walnuts and Parma Ham


Main Course – Michelle Goldsbury, 18, from Darlington

Guinea Fowl Ballotine with Chicken and Black Pudding Mousse


Fish Course – Hannah Sloane, 17, Darlington

Monkfish wrapped in Parma Ham with Puy Lentil Ragu


Dessert Course – Jade Williams, 17, Crakehall

Brownie Baked Alaska


Entrants’ dishes had to feature local produce and were judged on their composition, taste, presentation and suitability for a banquet of up to 120.


Brandon, Michelle, Hannah and Jade will now re-create their dishes at a winners’ luncheon on February 9th, during Rockliffe Hall’s Festival of Food.


Aaron Craig, Rockliffe Hall’s New Hall Executive Chef, says: “Everyone who entered this competition created fantastic dishes and it was difficult to choose the winners, so we ended up selecting four, rather than three, to cook their dishes again at the winners’ luncheon. All the Rockliffe chefs are passionate about helping develop future chef talent and we hope this competition has helped inspire the next generation.”


Dawn Cobb-Neate, Senior Lecturer in Catering at Darlington College, says: “Darlington College is delighted to be part of the Aspiring Chefs of the Year competition. To give our students the opportunity to produce such high quality food in the presence of inspirational chefs is great to build their confidence and allow them to showcase their talents to the industry. The catering team is always seeking new opportunities to expose our students to new culinary challenges and expand their knowledge to equip them to be fantastic chefs of the future.”


To find out more about the winner's luncheon please click here >>>