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Ambitious young chefs compete at Middlesbrough College 

27 Jan 2022

Nine pioneering chefs competed in the annual Young Risotto Chef of the Year Northern heats at Middlesbrough College’s Waterside Brasserie on Friday 21st January 2022.  
To enter the competition, students had to create a risotto dish of their choice in one-hour. The classic Italian dish uses simple ingredients, however, the chefs were encouraged to create an exciting meal that would challenge them and show their joy and passion for cooking. The hopeful contestants are competing for a place in the grand final and the top prize spot; the opportunity to cook in a prestigious Michelin starred restaurant.  
The judging panel for the heats was led by Rob Ramsden, Reuben Sutterby and Alan Colley. Jason Morrison from Gallo UK was the MD for the event.  
Two catering & hospitality students from Middlesbrough College took part in the heats. Seventeen-year-old Elliott Dodsworth, a Level 3 Professional Cookery student at the College and Higher Education Hospitality student Daniel Schott. 
Elliott, who is an aspiring chef, said: “It’s been a fantastic experience to take part in the competition. I created a seafood risotto dish which I really enjoyed making. I absolutely love cooking, it’s a brilliant experience to get creative in the kitchen and make people happy when they eat your food. 
“After I’ve completed my Level 3 programme I’m hoping to continue my studies to degree level at Middlesbrough College. My career dream is to be a chef in a fine dining restaurant, and I know that the skills I am learning on my course are helping me to achieve this.” 
Daniel Schott, who competed in the heats, was inspired by his grandmother to take part, he said: “My family are originally from Malta and my grandmother used to make a traditionally Maltese rabbit risotto dish. The recipe has been handed down in my family for generations and when I found out about the competition, I jumped at the chance to make it! 
“Middlesbrough College is a fantastic place to study. There are so many opportunities here to expand your CV and take on new challenges. I started the College on a Level 2 Hospitality course and I’m now studying for my foundation degree. I’m hoping to progress to study to master’s degree level here.  
“The competition has been great fun! It’s been a wonderful experience and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of making my grandmother’s recipe for the judges.  
“I’m the first hospitality student to take part in this cooking competition. Usually I’m working front of house so it makes a change to get in the kitchen! In my spare time, I love to cook and one day I hope to open my own restaurant. The College’s hospitality courses are a fantastic route into the sector and have improved my skills in management- I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone who wants to work within the food, leisure and hospitality industry.”  
Molly Shaher, the Programme Leader for catering and hospitality courses at Middlesbrough College said: “The Young Risotto competition is a fantastic experience for ambitious young chefs and really helps to expand their knowledge, skills and cultural experiences. 
“The competition is sponsored by Gallo who are premier grain specialists, so it’s also a brilliant opportunity for the young chefs to work with the leaders in the industry.” 
The Grand Final will be held at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the 4th April 2022. 

Find out more about Catering and Hospitality courses here.

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