A Newcastle United chef has picked up a prestigious honour after creating a signature three-course menu that used North East produce as well as showcasing his culinary ability. Kyle Bowman won the NECTA North East Chef of the Year annual competition that took place at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Newcastle last Thursday, facing off against an extremely high standard of competition, with four other professional chefs.
Kyle, who is originally from North Shields, began his culinary career working at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth on weekends, going on to work in places like Guernsey and Cumbria, from Michelin-star restaurants to pubs, before settling back in the North East.
Kyle has spoken about the three courses that he prepared, as well as the North East influences that inspired each dish.
“For my starter I wanted to pay homage to my roots and the North Shields Fish Quay. I used the whole crab – brown and white meat – as a big part of my ethos as a chef is using all the product, but keeping true to the flavour and not overcomplicating it
“For the main course I used goat loin from The Goat Company farm, as I use goat a lot in my cooking, and I feel it isn’t used enough, so I wanted to showcase how good it is.
“Also, by using the goat’s curd from the same farm I’m putting the emphasis on using as much of the product as possible and not wasting it. I chose Northumbrian potatoes as a garnish as they are some of the best potatoes in the country.
“The dessert was a take on my dad’s apple crumble. Growing up, it was a dish we would have most Sundays, and I made mine using apples from Six Nine Orchard in Prudhoe, with wild red clover petals, white chocolate and an incredible wildflower honey from Northumberland Honey Company.
“The combination of flavours is a classic, but I have put my own twist and interpretation on the dish to show off my style of cooking and focus on getting the best flavour out of the region’s quality produce.
“I was extremely happy and overwhelmed when I heard that I had won the competition, and also to have my name next to some unbelievable chefs that have won the trophy before me is something that I’m extremely proud of.”
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