Ryan Martin, a young Sous Chef at CLC Duchally Country Estate in Perthshire, was a finalist in the recent Chef of the Future 2014 cookery competition held at the Cordon Vert School of Cookery in Altrincham.

As the best of this year’s entrants, the budding career chefs were required to cook a three course vegetarian meal in less than three hours, with four servings prepared for each of the three courses.

Ryan’s exciting menu included a starter of risotto of white onion, with onion textures and a parmesan-style cheese foam, followed by a main course of cannelloni of celeriac, accompanied by honey-roasted beetroot, wild mushrooms, Ayrshire bonnet and garden herbs, and to finish, he put up a dessert of sticky toffee apple soufflé with apple purée, salted toffee and almond crumble.

 

And as the picture shows, the combination looks and sounds delightful, even to the most hardened of carnivores!

Speaking about the competition, Ryan said, ”I found it very challenging and I pushed myself to the limit. I had never realised how interesting and exciting it is to cook a vegetarian menu and have always looked at vegetables and fruit as components that help to build a dish rather than being the actual stars of the dish.”

“I didn’t win the competition and we weren’t told where we were placed, but it’s an amazing feeling when you know you have done the very best you can. On the other hand, I also realised that even if you do 100%, someone else can always come along and do 150% and create wonders,” he added, somewhat philosophically, after the heat of the competition was finally over.

Never mind the outcome of the contest. We are sure that diners at Duchally’s award-winning restaurant will be the real winners as a result of this very promising young chef’s experience of competitive cooking.