Stanley House chef creates a buzz

A young pastry chef from Stanley House Hotel and Spa has scooped the ‘best in Lancashire’ prize at the North West Young Chef of the Year competition.

Cameron Norris, 21, from Chorley, was crowned winner of the county heat which took place at Preston College.

Cameron fought off tough competition in the cook-off from another five chefs who derived from restaurants including Northcote and the Freemasons of Wisewell.

The winning dishes delivered by Cameron utilised locally sourced produce to create a menu of hand dived King scallops with cauliflower risotto and Goosnargh duck breast with polenta puree, beetroot gnocchi and smoked Ashcroft beetroot.

He also adopted a bee hive to create his own delicious honey for a dessert of yoghurt panna cotta with Lancashire rhubarb and ‘Cameron’s honey’.

Cameron will now go on to attend a master class with an acclaimed chef to hone skills with the industry’s best, before going on to compete against the other regional winners in the final of North West Young Chef Competition.

Cameron, joined Stanley House from Charnock Farm in Leyland where he was junior sous chef. He was originally inspired to by his tutor at Runshaw College where he completed a NVQ Level 2 and Advanced Diploma in Professional Cookery.

Speaking on his excitement of winning the Lancashire heat, he said: “The competition was of such a high standard I didn't think I could win it but I was confident in my menu.

“When planning for the cook-off I realised that others would be demonstrating skills in classic desserts such as soufflés and I wanted to stand out. I stood at my bench with my favourite seasonal ingredients and thought, wow this all works really well together.”

While researching locally sourced produce including honey to complement the dish, Cameron came across Andy Donnelly in Penwortham who helped him develop his own hive.

Cameron added: “I’ve now signed up to a bee keeping course later in the year with a view to supplying Stanley House with my own honey.”

“I’m really looking forward to the next round. Not just to compete but also to further my knowledge thanks to my experienced peers, top class judges and also the calibre of other contenders.”

Throughout the competition, Cameron has been mentored by Stanley House Hotel and Spa’s executive chef, Steve Williams its pastry chef and the North West Young Chef of the year in 2012, Lewis Gallagher.

Steve commented: “It’s really pleasing to see Cameron develop. He’s been extremely passionate about the competition.

“While he’s young he’s also calm and methodical when putting his dishes together and that shone through to the judges. They were really impressed with his panna cotta, it had that perfect wobble and his honey was a great addition showing real thought had gone into his menu.” The North West Young Chef of the Year grand final takes place at Manchester College on May 7, 2015.