Michelin-starred celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be judging the ‘dish of the day’ at The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs’ (NFYFC) Cookery finals at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show (28 September 2019).
The flamboyant Frenchman - who has picked up four Michelin stars in his 40-year career - will choose from the top dishes that have been cooked by Young Farmers during the competition.
The national competition is being held at the start of NFYFC’s National Young Farmers’ Week (30 September to 4 October) and during British Food Fortnight to celebrate the best of British produce and producers.
Masterchef finalist and Chocolatier Ben Axford will be joined by Jay Halford – an experienced chef who caters for events and businesses all over the world – to mark the teams’ overall performances throughout the day. The competition includes marks for practical cookery skills, appropriate clothing, display and interpretation of the theme as well as taste.
While Ben and Jay will choose the overall first, second and third place winners – they will ask Jean-Christophe to choose the ‘dish of the day’ from a selection of six finalists.
Teams consist of three YFC members and they will have just one hour to prepare, cook and display four courses, including at least one sweet course and one savoury course, that would be fit for a Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) gala dinner.
As part of the competition, teams must also promote a rare or native breed in their displays as listed in the RBST Watchlist 2018-19 and RBST Conservation Coordinator Hannah Knowles will also award a certificate for the best promotion of RBST within a display.
YFC members have competed in county and area rounds to make it through to the national final – all coming up with innovative ideas to impress the judges. It is a difficult challenge as each team will only have two butane gas stoves to cook on.
NFYFC’s chairman Katie Hall said: “We are so excited that Jean-Christophe Novelli has agreed to judge the dish of the day at NFYFC’s national cookery finals. This will be such a reward for all the hard work of our Young Farmers competing in the final.
“It’s also an amazing way to start National Young Farmers’ Week, which celebrates the contribution YFCs make to their rural communities and the countryside.”
Alongside his restaurant empire, Jean-Christophe also runs a renowned cooking academy from his Hertfordshire home. He came to the UK in 1983 and went on to become head chef at Keith Floyd’s Maltster’s Arms restaurant in Devon before launching his own restaurants in London in 1996.
The aim of NFYFC’s national cookery competition is to provide an opportunity for YFC members to demonstrate their ability at preparing and cooking a nutritional meal whilst adhering to health and safety and food hygiene procedures.
YFC members will be cooking in the Wye Hall at the Three Counties Showground at the Malvern Autumn Show from 10am on Saturday 28 September 2019.