February 2019: Chef Matthew lands work experience at prestigious hotel

BUDDING chef Matthew Marriott is looking forward to spending a week in the restaurant at Northcote Manor in Langho.

Matthew, 14, attends Haslingden High School and out of 12,000 initial entries he got through to the North West regional final of the Springboard Future Chef competition.

He narrowly missed out on one of just 12 places in the national final,

however his mentor Danny Young, a chef at Northcote, offered him something even more valuable – a week’s work experience in the fine-dining Michelin starred restaurant kitchen at Northcote.

In the third round of the Future Chef competition, Matthew had a budget of £10 and devised a two-course meal of oven roasted chicken breast with tarragon butter served with celeriac puree, carrot baton, crispy kale and a chicken sauce.  His dessert was a chocolate fondant served with milk ice cream and chopped nuts.

Matthew, from Oswaldtwistle, admitted it was a bit nerve-racking beforehand but he felt better when he got into the kitchen.

He said: “The hardest bit was getting used to the hob because it was one large plate with the hottest part in the middle and you could not control it, so you just had to guess where to put the pans.”

Matthew said his chicken sauce did not reduce enough, but the rest of the dishes went well and he completed the two-courses in the 90 minutes.

He has already worked ad hoc days at Northcote with Danny, including attending the event ‘Obsession’ where world class chefs are invited to the restaurant.

Matthew said: “They had a canapé reception and I had to plate up about 200 shrimp onto canapés using tweezers.

“I wasn’t expecting the work experience and I am really excited about it. I will be going there during the six-week holidays and it will be a really good experience.”

He is planning to study at Runshaw College, Chorley, after he finishes his GCSEs.

Matthew regularly cooks dinner at home; although his family will be pleased the competition is over having eaten his menu most nights up to the regional final.

He added: “I like cooking duck and a Sunday lunch. I prefer cooking savoury meals to dessert.”