Teenagers offered chance to cook at Michelin-starred Yorkshire restaurant

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The chef and owner of one of only five Michelin-starred restaurants in Yorkshire is searching for the county’s best young chef.

For the second year running, James Mackenzie of the Pipe and Glass Inn, at South Dalton, has teamed up with the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and farming company JSR, both based at Southburn, near Driffield, to invite teenage chefs to compete for the coveted Golden Apron 2014. The competition is sponsored by food suppliers Cranswick plc and supermarket giants Sainsbury’s.

The three finalists will cook alongside James Mackenzie at The Pipe and Glass Inn, recently named as The Good Pub Guide’s Yorkshire Dining Pub of the Year for 2014, and the winner will be given a work placement with Cranswick plc, working on the Sainsbury’s account with their new product development team.

The Golden Apron is open to young chefs living in Yorkshire and aged between 14 and 19 years old, who are invited to enter at www.goldenapron.co.uk; deadline for entries is 31 January 2014.

The best 16 entries will be invited to two heats at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School and asked to cook a pork dish in front of judges from the school, the sponsors, and James Mackenzie.

Eight cooks from the heats will go on to compete in the semi-finals, and three finalists will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored for a day and cook alongside James and his team as part of a gala dinner at The Pipe and Glass Inn. One contestant will then be named as The Golden Apron 2014.

Last year’s winner was 15-year-old Philippa Lister, from Wakefield, who said: “Winning the Golden Apron has given me a huge confidence boost! Everywhere I go I get asked about the competition and people are amazed that I have worked in a Michelin-starred restaurant and been on a photoshoot organised by Cranswick and Sainsbury’s. My cooking and creative skills have reached a new level and I am now a school mentor for food technology and love encouraging other young chefs in the making.”

James Mackenzie said: “This is a great opportunity for youngsters across Yorkshire youngsters to work with some great local produce and show what can be achieved.”

Alison Johnson, Business Development Manager at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this exciting competition. We’re extremely busy at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School; however we’d like to see more young people on our courses. This competition aims to encourage young people learn new skills and with the ambition to win the Golden Apron 2014 title. For any young person interested in cooking or becoming a chef this is a great platform to improve skills or launch a career.”

Bernard Hoggarth, Director of Cranswick plc, said: “I felt it a real privilege to be involved in The Golden Apron. The winner award will gain exposure to the Sainsbury’s development teams in London and they will work with the Cranswick chefs in our product development team.”

JSR Chairman Tim Rymer said: “Last year’s finalists went on an exciting journey and continued to impress at every stage of the competition.”

For further information on The Golden Apron 2014: www.goldenapron.co.uk