A young apprentice from Plymouth has been battling it out with chefs from across the South West to reach the semi-finals of the annual South West Chef of the Year competition.
The prestigious culinary competition showcases and supports the exceptional talent of professional chefs, student chefs, home cooks and junior cooks from across the South West of England.
City College Plymouth apprentice, Emily Delafield, 19, was chosen by her employer at The Bridge Bar to enter the Student/Apprentice Chef category of the hard-fought competition. She wowed the judging panel with her take on the two course meal challenge.
Emily and her fellow student competitors were tasked with creating an innovative menu using wood pigeon, plaice and seasonal ingredients. They then had just an hour and a half to cook and present their dishes to the chef judges from some of the region’s best eateries.
Emily said: “I was so excited to be chosen as a semi-finalist – they only picked ten chefs! It was a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed competing against so many amazing chefs and seeing the high standard of everyone’s cooking. It was inspiring to see so many accomplished chefs all in one place.
“As an apprentice, I am constantly learning and growing, and I feel this competition has taken my cooking to a whole new level. This was also a chance for me to get my name out in the industry so that one day I may be on the other side of the judging table.”
Lesley Ann Brunning, Managing Director of Brunning Host Ltd and Emily’s employer, said: “We are so proud of Emily. We wanted everyone to know how good she is and what better way than entering her into a regional competition! The South West Chef of the Year competition is a fantastic way to showcase and celebrate the exceptionally talented chefs we have in the South West. Emily did incredibly well and the experience has improved not only her culinary skills but also her confidence.”