SEASONED chef Darren Burns is our fourth contestant set to take part in the Wirral Young Chef of the Year competition.
The 22-year-old has carefully planned his menu so as to push his boundaries by cooking up new dishes never attempted before.
But Darren says he is no stranger to the kitchen, as he has been “cheffing” since he was 15.
He will be running the kitchen at the Olive Tree, in New Brighton, on January 14, as he competes in the first stage for Wirral Young Chef of the Year for 2014.
Darren will dish up a three-course treat at the New Brighton venue, where he has worked four years.
Darren, a former pupil of The Mosslands school, said: ‘‘This is the first time I’ve taken part in a cookery competition.
‘‘Everything is cooked from fresh from locally sourced produce at The Olive Tree.
‘‘The head chef, Steve, gave me tips on how to put the menu together. I wanted to produce a menu with lots of technical elements, and really push myself further from my comfort zone to discover new methods and dishes I’d never tried before.
“For example, I’d never cooked a confit salmon, and I’d heard that celeriac gnocchi was really hard to perfect because of all the moisture, so I wanted to try and give it a go.
“I’m excited. I can’t wait until it’s my night to run the kitchen. I hope everything goes well.”
Darren, from Wallasey, started as a commis chef and worked his way up to be a sous chef at the Olive Tree.
He added: “I first took an interest in cooking at 15 when I would help my aunt Julie out when she did catering for special occasions.
“She influenced me and would teach me how to cook different dishes.
“I developed my passion for cooking from there and wanted to learn more, so I did an NVQ level two at Liverpool Community College.
“I enjoy learning and producing new dishes. I enjoy cooking all types of dishes from starter, main to dessert.
“It is a such a good experience taking part in this competition.”
Darren’s heat takes place at The Olive Tree on Victoria Road, New Brighton, on Tuesday, January 14.
He will cook up three courses which costs £18.95, and bookings are being taken from today (Wednesday). Call 0151 638 1810 to book.
Wirral Young Chef of the Year is supported by Wirral News, Wirral Council, Wirral Metropolitan College and Pickled Walnut.