For the second year we’re proud to sponsor the Craft Guild of Chefs Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) competition as part of our wider work engaging with chefs across the UK.
At this year’s YNCOTY Mentor Day, Chantelle Nicholson, chef owner of Tredwells and Quorn partner, did a live cooking demonstration to show the ten competition finalists how Quorn® ingredients can be used to create texture, bite and carry flavour.
Using both Quorn Fillets and the Ultimate Burger minced and mixed together, Chantelle created a delicious dish of harissa tortellini with aubergine and miso aioli.
Quorn partner and first-time judge of this year’s YNCOTY competition, Nicholson, said: ‘When it comes to alternative proteins, there can be a negative perception amongst chefs yet in reality they can be experimented the same level of creativity as other ingredients – chefs are only limited by their own imagination. What I’ve shown today is that, as the environmental impact of the food we’re consuming becomes increasingly important, these nutritious and sustainable alternatives to meat can hold their own alongside other quality ingredients commonly used by chefs.’
YNCOTY finalist Bronwen Jenkins from The Westbury Hotel said: ‘I’ve experimented with Quorn quite a lot at work but I’ve never seen it used in the way Chantelle demonstrated today. I hadn’t thought of using it in this way. Personally, I really like the flavour of Quorn so it was great to see.’
We believe young chefs are a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to protein diversity and the future of food. Belonging to a younger generation, they are growing up at a time when we are collectively more aware and informed of the impact our diets have on the planet, and by working with them we can start the conversation early around the importance of more sustainable eating.
Consumers can’t order what’s not made available to them, so chefs play an important role in encouraging a more diverse approach to proteins and meat-free dishes on their menus. It’s our hope that by working closely with young and up and coming chefs we can positively influence the future of food from the top down.
From everyone at Quorn we wish the finalists the best of luck for the YNCOTY final taking place on 2 October.