November 2014

Michael West is Young Chef of the Year finalist

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Level 3 Professional Cookery student Michael West made the final of the British Culinary Foundation (BCF) Young Chef of the Year 2014. 

The BCF had a very strong line-up of finalists this year, and the heats were held once again in UCB kitchens. The young chefs were all given a set amount of time to cook a three course meal and impress the judges by meeting a number of criteria. 

Michael’s menu was as follows:

  • Baked cod with a parsley and parmesan crust, petit poise a la fracaise puree, crispy chorizo, sauté girolles, warm truffle oil and dressed pea shoots.
  • Roads lamb cutlet, confit of lamb shoulder fritter, cauliflower puree, braised King Edward potatoes, sauté wild garlic and spinach, basil and red wine jus lie.
  • Warm chocolate fondant, passion fruit curd, vanilla and passion fruit cream with a poppy seed caramel wafer. 

“It feels great to be part of this brilliant competition,” said Michael. “To have the British Culinary Foundation recognise your abilities and list you as one of their top 10 young chefs in the country is a fantastic feeling.” 

Alongside Michael, three other UCB alumni were competing for this coveted prize: Leonidas Kattou (Simpsons, Birmingham), Isaac Joyce (The Cross, Kenilworth) and Joe Parsons (Convention Centre, Birmingham). 

Although Michael narrowly missed out on receiving an award this year, he was highly commended for his efforts and the quality of his dishes. The standard of all competitors this year was the highest the BCF has ever seen. 

Mathew Shropshall, UCB Culinary Team Manager and Chef Mentor, said "I’m really proud of Michael and what he has achieved. From teaching him on our Young Chefs Academy when he was 15 to mentoring him for this competition, he has shown himself to be a true inspiration to young chefs. UCB has no doubt Michael will go onto more success in the future.” 

Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food, said: “This is another success story for UCB and its students. Michael has studied at UCB for four years, has gained work experience in Michelin star resturants and he is now cooking alongside the best young chefs in the country. He is a true inspiration to other aspiring young chefs.”

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