Beef + Lamb New Zealand were proud to be supporters of the recent young chef competition the 2019 Concours National des Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs de la Nouvelle Zelande. The competition is a bi-annual event run by the New Zealand branch of La Chaine des Rôtisseurs. The competition is headed up by Marc Soper, executive chef at Wharekauhau Estate. Marc says the competition this year saw an outstanding group of promising young chefs competing for the grand prize of representing New Zealand at the international competition in Canada later this year.
Each competitor was presented with an identical mystery box and had three and a half hours to prepare a three-course menu for four people. The box contained mandatory and non-mandatory items to be used and a choice of beef or lamb for their main protein.
Winning young chef, Alex Southwick impressed the judges with his main course dish of roast lamb leg with smoked potato foam, honey glazed baby carrots, green bean purée, chicken livers, carrot crisp and stout jus. Alex’s attention to detail stood out along with his skill of showcasing the true essence of what the protein stood for. He didn’t overcomplicate the plate but allowed the lamb to be the hero with its flavour shining through and was well supported by traditional accompaniments with a modern twist.
Alex, who is currently working under the executive chef at Blanket Bay in Queenstown, will travel to Canada later in the year to compete against other winners from around the world to determine who will be the International 2019 Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseur. Marc says the New Zealand competition is set up in a way to give the winning student as much experience as possible to compete in the international competition. “It’s exciting for Alex to have this experience and will stand him in good stead for the international competition. We have great hopes for him and look forward to watching his career develop” says Marc.
We will also be following Alex’s career with interest and wish him all the best for the international competition. It’s great to see these young chefs putting themselves out on the international stage and showcasing New Zealand beef and lamb at such a high level.