Young Whitby chef is cooking up a storm

Whitby chef Joseph has made it to the finals.
Whitby chef Joseph has made it to the finals.

A young chef from Whitby has made it through to the final of a top cookery competition – the Golden Apron.

Joseph Lees, 16, was one of three finalists to progress through a tense semi-final held this week.

The competition to find Yorkshire’s best young chef is run by James Mackenzie, chef and owner of the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass at South Dalton and the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR, both based at Southburn, near Driffield.

Joseph was one of eight young chefs competing in the semi-final in front of four judges. The Caedmon College pupil was tasked with preparing a dish of their own devising around the theme of ‘My Yorkshire’, with a budget of £10 for two servings, and with just two hours to cook.

Joseph prepared pan-roasted rack of lamb coated in a Dijon herb crust with sweet garlic, roasted roots with a quince and rosemary reduction.

He used Yorkshire lamb bred by his granddad. In the afternoon he had to cook a pudding of apple and rhubarb crumble with spiced ginger custard using ingredients specified by James Mackenzie.

The three finalists will now cook alongside James Mackenzie in the kitchens of the Pipe and Glass for a gala dinner for 70 guests on Monday, March 20.

James Mackenzie said: “We saw so much creativity – there’s some really great potential for the future of the industry here.”

Mark Richmond, of sponsor ASDA, added: “The standard was brilliant – it’s phenomenal what these young people are turning out at such a young age.”