WIRRAL YOUNG CHEF OF THE YEAR: Adam Bowers of the Portrait House in Hoylake is our first finalist for 2012
TALENTED chef Adam Bowers has achieved his dreams – and more – at the age of just 25 but he’s determined not to rest on his laurels.
The head chef at the Portrait House in Hoylake is our first contestant in Wirral Young Chef of the Year 2012.
His first taste of competition cooking was in Wirral Chef of the Year in 2009 – and after coming second in 2010, he’s hoping to make it third time lucky.
Adam, from Hoylake, started at the Portrait House four-and-a-half years ago after starting his career at Slinky’s in West Kirby at 17, fresh from Hilbre High School.
Six months ago he took the reins in the kitchen and has helped oversee the introduction of a new menu for vegans and vegetarians.
He’s also gone into business with Portrait House owner and manager Matt Goodwin to open outside catering company TPH Events.
Adam said: “We started it about five months ago and it’s going really well. We had a lot of demand for it. People know the restaurant and they know the food and that gave us a head start.
“We’ve separated the two businesses so they can both do well without one affecting the other. I want to work hard now while I’m young and have the drive.”
Despite his new venture, Adam is remaining loyal to the close-knit team at the Portrait House – and says he has a lot to thank manager Matt for.
“Every time there’s been an opportunity to move up he’s never looked elsewhere,” he says. “I really appreciate the chances he’s given me. I never look for other jobs because Matt has always respected my ability and let me go and do it.”
Framed copies of Adam’s menus from his two Wirral Chef of the Year appearances still hang on the wall at the Portrait House.
He says: “A lot of the time I had the right ideas but didn’t know how to execute them properly. Now I can see the little mistakes I made.
“With this menu I’m absolutely confident in what I’m doing. The best thing I’ve done so far was the trio of seafood starters in 2010. I’ve taken that idea and used all the different chocolates in a trio for the sweet.
“For the main course I’ve taken the dish and broken it down to the different elements. I’ve tried to do something I think is a lot more exciting in the way it’s put together.”
With an age range of 16-25 for Wirral Young Chef of the Year, Adam will be one of the oldest chefs in the competition – but hopes the extra experience will work to his advantage.
He said: “I do feel proud that I’ve achieved my ambitions quite young but instead of resting on my laurels I want to carry on improving.
“When you get to one goal you’ve got to set yourself another one.”
Wirral Young Chef of the Year is on Tuesday, October 9 from 6.30pm at the Portrait House, The Quadrant, Hoylake. The restaurant will also be serving Adam’s competition menu the following night. The cost of the three-course meal is £18.95. To book call 632 4444.
WIRRAL Young Chef of the Year is kindly supported by Wirral Council, Liverpool Community College and Wirral Met College.