Former Wigan & Leigh College professional cookery student, Oliver Mather has made it to the 2018 North West Young Chef of the Year final.

The rising culinary star, who works at The Punchbowl Inn at Crosthwaite, won his semi-final cook off to earn a place in the final on 23rd May at South Cheshire College.

The former Rivington and Blackrod High School pupil was thrilled to make the prestigious final. If he wins, he will follow in the footsteps of his Head Chef, Arthur Quin, who won the same competition in 2015 going on to place 2nd in the Nationals.

Speaking about his success, Oliver said: “It’s all very exciting; the final will be tough as I’ve seen what some of the opposition can do.The competition is great though and you get to develop your skills further.”

Oliver’s winning menu consisted of Morecambe Bay Plaice and Cockles, a main course of Cumbrian loin of lamb and faggot, and finished with a dessert of Yorkshire rhubarb soufflé with ginger anglaise.

Originally from Bolton, Oliver studied on the Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Professional Cookery at the College. After completing, he found work at the Lake District located Two AA Rosette restaurant as a Chef De Partie.

He added: “I chose to study to Wigan & Leigh College after having a look at the facilities. I was impressed with the state of the art kitchen and equipment and the staff were very welcoming with a wealth of industry experience.

“I learned lots of skills on the course from well experienced tutors.They prepared me for what to expect in the industry and helped to increase my knowledge and progression into employment.”

The talented young chef will now have the opportunity to hone his skills before the final by attending a master class with an acclaimed chef.

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