Young Chef finalists announced in town’s Food and Drink Awards

Chesterfield College student set to be named as 2015 Young Chef of the Year

Young Chef of the Year - finalists

Three budding chefs are hoping to take the title of Young Chef of the Year at the 2015 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, organised by Destination Chesterfield and sponsored by Chesterfield College. The winner of the award will be announced on Wednesday 28 October.

Chesterfield College students James Greatorex, Leanne Billyeald and Liam Slinn, all in year two of the Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery course, have been named as the three finalists in the tough competition after preparing a two course meal for judges.

Judges included winner of the 2014 Chef of the Year title Adam Warwick from Blu Bistro, category sponsor Patrick Coleman, the Vicar from The Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints ( the Crooked Spire Church) and Chris Mapp chef and owner of The Tickled Trout in Barlow, Chesterfield.

James Greatorex (18) from Chesterfield, who also works at The Devonshire Arms at Middle Handley, prepared Szechwan Lamb and Lemon Grass and Coffee Pavlova for the judges. He said: “I am used to working in a busy kitchen producing high quality food for customers but I know I had to do something extra to impress the experienced judges. I was pleased with what I produced but the dishes the other competitors produced looked really impressive too so you never know. We’ll have to wait for the results on awards night.”

The judges were wowed with Leanne Billyeald’s menu of Roast Corn Fed Chicken Breast and Lemon and Passion Fruit Cheesecake. Leanne (18) from Chesterfield said: “It’s brilliant to be part of the Young Chef of the Year competition. I hope I managed to control my nerves and impress the judges. Cooking in those kind of conditions really tests your skills and it’s brilliant experience for working in the industry.”

Liam Slinn (18) from Chesterfield served up roast belly pork and lemon meringue pie to judges. He said: “This competition really puts everything you learn at college and in work to the test. It proves how much I have learnt since I decided I wanted a career as a chef. Cooking for judges who are so well respected in the local industry adds some extra pressure but I enjoyed the challenge!”

The winner of the Young Chef of the Year title will be announced at the glitzy award ceremony at Chesterfield College’s Heart Space building, which is being hosted by celebrity chef Theo Randall. As well as sponsoring the awards, the College also uses the awards ceremony as a learning exercise for its hospitality students. This year, fifty students from the College will also be catering and silver serving a two course meal to more than 250 people attending the event, working over three days on all areas, including kitchen and front of house.

38 businesses and individuals are up for 13 awards in this year’s Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards. A full list of the finalists can be seen at

Other supporters of the awards include the Derbyshire Times, Peak FM, Franke Sissons, Holdsworth Foods, Banner Jones, Black Eyed Susan, Reflections, Mitchells Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, Chesterfield Borough Council, East Midlands Chamber, Hooper’s, Jumble Design, BHP Chartered Accountants, Kier and MSE Hiller,

To find out this year’s winners of the Chesterfield Food and Drink awards live on the night, follow @DesChes on Twitter using hashtag #cfda15 or visit