Ex-student selected for Young Chef of the Year National Finals

Rebecca Jackson from Sacriston has been named as one of the ten chefs who will compete in the prestigious Young National Chef of the Year final in September.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year's chefs were handpicked by Michelin-starred chef and head judge Hrishikesh Desai and competition organiser David Mulcahy based on extensive research, guidance and recommendations from industry experts.  Rebecca came to the judge’s attention by winning the NECTA North East Young Chef of the Year 2019.

Rebecca studied Professional Cookery at New College Durham then went on to work in restaurants in County Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne. During her career she has worked with several talented and experienced chefs who have helped her learn new skills and techniques which have enabled her to succeed. She is currently junior sous chef at Leila Lily's, Newcastle.

Rebecca said: “I was overwhelmed when I got the phone call to tell me my name was on that list. I just couldn’t believe it because of how big this competition is. I was just so happy! I’m really excited to go to London in September and show what I can do. Regardless of the outcome, it’s an honour to take part in such a major event and to have the chance to work with talented competitors and see spectacular food! 

Paul Richardson, Catering and Hospitality lecturer at New College Durham, commented:

“We are delighted that Rebecca has been named as a finalist in the Young National Chef of the Year. At New College Durham we encourage our catering and hospitality students to take part in competitions as we believe it builds their confidence and self-esteem, as well as developing their employability skills. Hopefully, Rebecca’s experiences at the college will stand her in good stead for the finals.  She was such a talented student I’m sure she will do very well in London.”

The cook-off will take place on 7 September at Le Cordon Bleu and the final will be aired as part of the Hospitality Unites week on 29 September. The winner will be announced on 30 September.

The Young National Chef of the Year is organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and is open to chefs who are 26 years old or younger as of 29 September 2020. Competitors are invited from all areas of hospitality, including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract caterers and the public sector.

Related information

Hospitality and Catering

Professional Cookery & Hospitality

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