Trainee chef reaches finals of national competition

Daniel Ryder, right, at Restaurant 22 in Cambridge.

Daniel Ryder, right, at Restaurant 22 in Cambridge. - Credit: CAMBRIDGE REGIONAL COLLEGE

Trainee professional chef Daniel Ryder, from St Neots, is one of 10 UK youngsters to reach the finals of the Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022.

Late in 2021, Cambridge Regional College chef lecturer Anthony Dunball presented an opportunity for Level 3 Professional Chefs to take part in a further education catering competition open to all colleges across the UK.

The Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 is based around the planning and delivery of a Risotto dish over the course of three rounds.

Daniel said: “I chose to enter the competition as I thought it would be a great learning experience. I was successful in the first round and was offered a place in the regional heats which took place at North Herts College in January.

There were eight semi-finalists from each region, and during this round we had to prepare the risotto dish we had presented in the previous round. Of the eight competitors, two were taken forward from each region to compete in the finals. I am very proud that I am one of them.”

Ten young chefs will now progress to the final round of the competition, which will take place on April 4 at Tottenham Hotspur's Football Ground. The finalists will be required to prepare their choice of risotto dish for the judging panel which is made up of renowned consultant chef Paul Gaylor MBE, Danilo Cortellini, head chef at the Italian Embassy in London, Adriano Cavagnini, executive chef at the Bvlgari Hotel, Fabio Pisani from Il Luogo id Aimo e Nadia e Milan, Francesco Dibenedetto from Bibendum and executive chef Davide Degiovanni.

Daniel has chosen to prepare Risotto alla Milanese with red wine reduction, a dish that he is confident could win him the competition.

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Chef lecturer Anthony Dunball said: “This has been a great opportunity for Daniel to develop his skills and for the college to link with Restaurant Twenty-Two where Daniel works part time. It is amazing what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. We wish Daniel all the best in the final!”

Find out more about Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef of the Year 2022 at: www.youngrisottochef.com.