Zacharias Abbott crowned winner of The Golden Apron

Say hello to Yorkshire's most exciting young chef

Zacharias Abbott crowned winner of The Golden Apron

Yesterday saw the final of The Golden Apron competition, which seeks to find Yorkshire’s best young chef. The competition is now in its fourth year, and is run by James Mackenzie, the chef/owner of the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass restaurant.

Zacharias will get to design a range of products that will appear on Asda’s shelves next Christmas!

It was third time lucky for the new winner Zacharias Abbott from Stamford Bridge, near York, who had previously entered twice before and reached the semi finals and final. But this time his incredible venison dish wowed the judges and clinched the victory.

The win means that Zacharias will get to design a range of products that will appear on Asda’s shelves next Christmas, as well as taking on a work placement at food supplier and sponsor, Cranswick plc. Receiving the accolade will put Zacharias in great stead to launch a career in the restaurant industry, with previous winners going on to work in restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze in London.

The final was held at Michelin-starred restaurant Pipe and Glass and required the three finalists to recreate their ‘My Yorkshire’ dish (which they cooked at the semi final) for 70 people!

With the support of the Pipe and Glass head chef James Mackenzie, and ASDA Innovations Development Chef Mark Richmond, the three finalists were able to plate up their delicious dishes.

Zacharias cooked juniper-rolled Yorkshire venison with fondant potatoes, carrot, parsnip, rhubarb and ginger with a port and cranberry sauce (pictured below). Joseph Lees (16) from Whitby prepared pan-roasted rack of lamb coated in a Dijon herb crust with sweet garlic, roasted roots with a quince and rosemary reduction. And Adam Rothery (17), from Anlaby created 32-day dry-aged beef fillet and rock oysters with sweet potato gnocchi, seaweed and beef jus.

The starter-sized portions of each dish were blind-voted for by the 70 guests.

The winning dish was announced by Aisling Lyne, ASDA’s Senior Manager of Product Development and Innovations, who said: “Zacharias will be working with us and Cranswick to develop new dishes that will be on ASDA’s shelves at Christmas, and will be building on the very high standard that last year’s winner set.”

Zacharias was over the moon with his win saying he had "loved every second" of the competition.

Head chef and founder of the competition James Mackenzie (pictured below) said: “This year’s result was the closest it’s ever been – the standard was just brilliant. It’s all about their ideas, their recipes, and it goes on the plate exactly the way they want it – there’s no doubt that these three have a very, very bright future.”

Mark Richmond, Asda’s innovations development chef (pictured bottom, right) said: “Chefs seem to be getting younger and more inspiring – the skills that they show at such a young age are amazing. These three all have a burning ambition, which is very encouraging.”

Congratulations Zacharias!

Photo credit: Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone Media