College launches new competition for young chefs in Lancashire

blackburn collegeBLACKBURN College is launching a a new schools competition for young chefs throughout Lancashire in partnership with Nigel Haworth and Paul Heathcote MBE together with The National Festival of Making.

The Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition celebrates the late Reg Johnson’s legacy of encouraging talent and innovation within the catering and hospitality industry.

He was famous for putting Goosnargh on the map by founding the UK’s leading poultry producer Johnson and Swarbrick which supplied venues such as Northcote, Hix Restaurants and Fortnum and Mason’s Gallery Restaurant.

Nicola Clayton, Director of Business Development and External Engagement at Blackburn College, said: “The Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition champions young chefs and helps to bridge the gap between industry and education.

“There is a national skills shortage for excellent chefs resulting in plenty of opportunities for students to develop a fantastic career within Catering and Hospitality.

“We are delighted to be hosting both the regional heats and the finals and are proud to continue preparing and encouraging young chefs to enter the industry.”

Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth of Northcote said: “The competition aims to increase students’ culinary skills and the winners of the regional heats will be mentored by myself and Paul.

“Students will be able to discover the breadth of careers available to them within the industry, win fantastic prizes and learn how to incorporate fresh, local ingredients into their menus.”

Paul Heathcote added: “Reg was very dear to me and he was always passionate about encouraging young talent. I think that he would be absolutely delighted that we are continuing his excellent work.”

Prizes include a Northcote Cookery School Prize; a meal for six people at Northcote from the Tasting Menu; quarterly continuing professional development programmes for school teachers and a local produce food hamper.

The overall winner will receive a trophy and a piece of catering equipment for their school. The winning dish will also be featured and on sale at Blackburn’s National Festival of Making on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May 2018.

Schools may enter as many individuals or teams of two as they like and applications must have been received by Friday 9 March 2018. The regional Heats will be held on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 April 2018.

To find out more about The Reg Johnson Young Schools Competition and to apply online visit

PICTURE (from left): Chelsea Pickup (Level 2 Professional Cookery) Nigel Haworth of Northcote, Paul Heathcote MBE and Anna Modrzejewska (Level 3 Professional Cookery). @copy NewspaperTimes - All rights reserved