The Golden Apron 2017

Wellocks was proud once again to support talented, young Yorkshire chefs in the Golden Apron, a competition hosted by Michelin-starred chef James Mackenzie and The Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School.

The 2017 Golden Apron went to Zacharias Abbott, 17, from Stamford Bridge near York, who is currently studying level 2 professional cookery at York College. It was third time lucky for Zacharias, who made it to the semi-final and the final in previous years. Zacharias’ winning dish was juniper-rolled venison with fondant potatoes, carrot, parsnip, rhubarb and ginger with a port and cranberry sauce. The two runners up were Joseph Lees, 16 from Whitby and Adam Rothery, 17 from Anlaby.

James Mackenzie said, “This year’s result is the closest it’s ever been – the standard was just brilliant. It’s all about their ideas, their recipes, and it goes on the plate exactly the way they want it. There’s no doubt these three have a very, very bright future.” He added that the competition “is a great opportunity to encourage the next generation of chefs, who seem even more ambitious and creative with a burning ambition to start a career in the industry.”

Now in its fourth year, the Golden Apron Awards is open to 14-19 year olds and aims to inspire young chefs, giving them the chance to work alongside James Mackenzie and his team. Contestants are put through their paces and finalists were tasked with creating a starter-sized dish with the theme ‘My Yorkshire’ for 70 guests. The event was held at James Mackenzie’s Pipe and Glass restaurant in Beverley.

Guests at the awards evening voted ‘blind’ for their favourite dish and the winner was announced by ASDA’s senior manager of product development and innovations, Aisling Lyne. Zacharias won a work placement with food supplier Cranswick plc with the opportunity to design a range of products for competition sponsor ASDA. The talented young chef said he was “thrilled, ecstatic and over the moon” and that he had “loved every second” of the competition.

Joseph Lees, who is studying GCSE catering at Caedmon College served pan-roasted rack of lamb coated in Dijon herb crust with sweet garlic, roasted roots and a quince and rosemary reduction while Adam Rothery, a student at Hull College studying level 2 culinary skills prepared a 32 day dry-aged beef fillet with rock oysters, sweet potato gnocchi, seaweed and beef jus. All fresh produce ingredients were provided by Wellocks.