Kenny Atkinson
Anna Addison

Member Article

Great North chef launches ‘Great North Menu Challenge’

One of the North East’s top chefs is calling for more young people to consider a career in the hospitality and catering industry after finding it increasingly difficult to recruit high calibre chefs.

Rockliffe Hall’s director of food, Kenny Atkinson, has teamed up with a Darlington College and the North East Hoteliers Association (NEHA) to launch a North East-wide contest to showcase what a profession in the sector has to offer.

The Great North Menu Challenge will see young chefs from across the region competing to be crowned the best with their winning menu being served at the NEHA Excellence Awards dinner at Ramside Hall in February which is attended by some of the most high profile people from the North East’s hotel sector.

The contest already has the support of well-known professionals- who will all be judges - including celebrated North East chef and restaurateur Terry Laybourne, Andrew Pern from the infamous Star at Harome in North Yorkshire and renowned chef and Great British Menu winner Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor in Lancashire.

Chefs from across the North East submitted their menu ideas and a shortlist of around 20 will take part in the final ‘cook-off’ at Darlington College on October 19thwith the winner’s menu, chosen by the celebrity chefs, served at the NEHA dinner in February.

Kenny Atkinson has teamed up with Darlington College for the contest thanks to its longstanding reputation for producing high calibre chefs and front-of-house staff. The college has its own professional restaurant where the Great North Menu Challenge will take place.

Kenny said: “It does seem to be harder now than in previous years to recruit really good, enthusiastic chefs and also young people who want to make a successful career in the catering and hospitality sector. The Great North Menu Challenge showcases some of the best young chefs the North East has to offer and is also an opportunity not only for young people to see how rewarding a career in the catering sector can be, but also to impress some of the highest profile people in the industry.”

Principal of Darlington College, Tim Grant, added: “Darlington College has long been synonymous with training talented chefs and this brilliant competition will see the next generation of stars in our kitchens. It’s also a great opportunity for our catering students to work alongside some of the North’s best known names.”

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Anna Addison .

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