Tim shows the finalists the secrets of charcuterie.

Mark’s commis chef, Tim, firstly gave his insight into charcuterie (the art of preserving meats). This section of the class showed the different stages involved in producing black pepper salami, from margination through to the curing of the meat.

green strawberry dessert
Mark’s green strawberry dish

The chef patron himself then continued with a demonstration of a beautiful green strawberry dessert dish. Its ingredients included a delicate sorbet and tuile combination, garnished with sorrel.

Fresh, local produce is key to the restaurant’s success:

“We buy as much produce locally as we possibly can, plus we grow our own,” Mark told the finalists.

“[Moor Hall] works closely with the gardeners to tailor what we produce and how we get the best flavour out of the ingredients.”

The Finalists

Respecting the components of each dish is key to fine dining, and it’s a concept all the finalists are familiar with. This year’s final will feature the following young chefs, showcasing some of the region’s very finest eateries:

  • Oliver Mather (Punchbowl at Crosthwaite)
  • Ruairi Erwin (Northcote)
  • Sion Hughes (Rogan & Co.)
  • Alasdair Aitken (Chefs Tables)
  • Mai Trising (Black Swan Hotel
  • Cyril Gabriel (Carden Park)

Each of the finalists has already displayed great talent and promise to reach this point. Each also enjoyed a fully-deserved glass of champagne following the culinary masterclass!

Bringing the celebrations to a close, the finalists and their guests were then treated to a menu prepared specially by Mark’s kitchen. The dishes served included a smoked eel starter, a Hostein Friesian beef main and an elegant gingerbread dessert.

competition finalists
The finalists ready for their masterclass

The North West final will be held on Wednesday 23rd May at Cheshire College. The winner of this prestigious event will earn their place in the Young National Chef of the Year competition, to be held in June of this year.

CHR wishes the best of luck to all the finalists; we look forward to seeing the next dishes you create!