Young chef delivers knock-out menu to scoop NW crown


A 19 year-old chef de partie from the Punchbowl Inn and Restaurant in Cumbria, has been crowned North West Young Chef of the Year, in Essential Cuisine’s annual competition.

Arthur Quin works in the kitchen at the 9-bedroom Lake District cosy country inn and is the youngest finalist at the competition. He beat off stiff competition from five other regional finalists in a cook off held last week at Manchester College.

Described by the judges as “immensely talented” with “fabulously turned out food”, Quin’s winning menu consisted of asparagus with poached egg and hollandaise sauce starter, Maryport line caught cod, cauliflower, wild garlic and cockleaves farm chicken main, and a dessert of soaked coffee sponge with pea, Armagnac and Lyth Valley honey.

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On the win, Quin said: “I’m shocked, but obviously over the moon to win. I was nervous in the run-up but I just kept practising over and over again – that helped to overcome the nerves.”

He paid tribute to Punchbowl owner, Richard Rose as well as the rest of his brigade, saving special mention for Head Chef and 2012 North West Young Chef finalist, Scott Fairweather, whose mentorship helped get him over the finish line.

The judging panel consisted of chairman Brian Mellor; Nigel Crane, managing director of Essential Cuisine; vice chairman of the British Culinary Federation, Matt Davies; chef proprietor of First Floor Café, Steven Doherty and Chef Patron of El Gato Negro, Simon Shaw.

Chairman of judges Brian Mellor said “From the heats to the final, it’s heartening to see how much effort and energy each competitor put into their menus, especially in the face of a busy working schedule. Once again the competition has served to prove that the North West is alive with cooking talent.”

Arthur will now go on to represent the North West, gaining an automatic seed into the semi-finals of the 2015 Young National Chef of the Year Competition.