HOYLAKE chef Adam Bowers made his bid for competition glory as our Wirral Young Chef of the Year contest started in spectacular style last week.
Adam, head chef at the Portrait House restaurant, kicked off the contest on Tuesday night.
After seven years of our culinary competition, Wirral News readers are a discerning group of diners – but Adam won praise for a delicious starter of scallops, samphire and pancetta – rated particularly highly.
The carefully designed dish had the flavours of the sea and the earthier parts of the dish separated on different sides of the slate plate.
His main course was a generous serving of pan-fried Gressingham duck breast with a ballotine of pork and wild duck pate wrapped in Parma ham, oven-roasted beetroot and shallots on a bed of pan-fried chicory and savoy cabbage.
The meal finished with a trio of mini sweets: mini white chocolate and raspberry tart; Hennessey XO and dark chocolate tiffin and a milk chocolate and hazelnut brownie served with blackberry compote and vanilla pod ice cream.
Adam’s 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.
Wilf Lewis from West Kirby and Evie Gerrard, from Chester, said Adam’s scallops came top for them.
She said: “We loved the starter and absolutely adored the scallops. They had a beautiful taste especially with the bits of pancetta.
“It was a lovely meal and it was nice to see lots of people here on a Tuesday night.”
Helen Phillips, of Wallasey, and Joyce Murray, from Moreton, were dining with a group of friends.
Helen said: “The scallops were delicious. I enjoyed all of the main course and the flavours were beautiful.”
Chef Adam was happy with his efforts and said the key to the success of the night was in the planning.
He said: “We’d put the hard work in during the day with the planning and preparation so it was a case of just putting the dishes together. Everyone in the kitchen worked hard.
“I’m happy it’s gone well and I’m looking forward to coming back for the cook-off to show what I can do.
“I’m 25 so it’s my last chance to take part in a competition for young chefs. Hopefully I can go out on a high.”
Find out who our second finalist for 2012 is in next week’s paper.
WIRRAL Young Chef of the Year is kindly supported by Wirral Council, Liverpool Community College and Wirral Met College.