Will Matthew Dougherty of Sheldrakes taste competition success after final Wirral Chefs Shine night?
SHELDRAKES chef Matthew Dougherty brought the curtain down on another year of Wirral Chefs Shine last week.
The 21-year-old, our sixth and last finalist for 2009, dared to be different by serving wood pigeon as a starter, followed by a curried monkfish fillet.
His menu was completed by a generous helping of creamy fruit parfait with layers of blackberry, apple and pear, served on a base of crumbled Amaretti biscuits.
Diners praised his experimental flair and presentation skills.
Lillian Harris, from Wallasey, was dining with friends Audrey Evans, Margaret Lea and Brenda Brayley.
She said: “The main course was nice and I liked the monkfish. The curry gave it a lot of flavour.”
Brenda, from Oxton, said her favourite part of Matthew’s menu was the parfait dessert.
She said: “It was filling, the flavours were good and I just love anything like ice cream. The biscuit helped to bring down the sweetness.”
Kevin Pulford praised Matthew for being adventurous with his menu and said his use of monkfish was a “savvy” choice.
Matthew said: “It was brilliant. The build-up to the evening has been quite stressful and the last couple of days have been all about prepping.
“But I was quite surprised at how smoothly it went tonight.
“We’ve had some great feedback and I think people have enjoyed it.
“It’s been a good experience and in the future I’d love to do some more competitions.”
Matthew paid tribute to his kitchen colleagues for their work on the night – including Rob Bryson, who was a Wirral Chefs Shine finalist last year.
He said: “It’s a lot of pressure but the lads in the kitchen have really helped – it’s my menu but if it wasn’t for the team, it wouldn’t have happened.
“It’s nice to be in it and may the best man – or woman – win!”
Wirral Chefs Shine 2009 is supported by Wirral Council, the Mersey Partnership, Wirral Met College and Liverpool Community College.