Owner of Penwortham's Cowshed is currently competing in a young chef competition in Dubai

Emma Rooke set up the Cowshed on Liverpool Road in 2018.

By Aimee Seddon
Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 3:54 pm

The chef and owner of the Cowshed in Penwortham is this week competing in a prestigious young chef competition in Dubai.

Emma Rooke, 23, from Penwortham, was one of 10 UK based chefs to be shortlisted for this year's young chef of the year accolade at the World Young Chef Young Waiter (YCYW) awards.

Today, (Monday November 15), Emma is taking part in the semi final of the competition, alongside 9 other chefs, as well as 10 waiters, who themselves are competing for this year's young waiter award.

Emma is currently competing in the World Young Chef Young Waiter awards in Dubai.

Each semi-finalist chef will get paired with a waiter and together they create a three course menu with the ingredients they are provided with, and the chefs have 3 hours to cook their dishes.

The final will then take place tomorrow (Tuesday November 16), with five chefs and five waiters, and the winners are announced on the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the evening.

Emma, who was a pupil at Penwortham Priory Academy, first opened the Cowshed on Liverpool Road in May 2018, where she sells her own ice cream, as well as offering a hot food menu, which currently consists of all-day brunch items.

Emma's mentor, Shelley Lewis-Lavender, who also taught her food technology at Penwortham Priory, said: "She's a lovely lovely girl, and we've been through some amazing competitions together and it just humbles me that I inspired her to go further in her twenties, and also that I was one of first people she confided in about getting through.

Emma (right) with Shelley when she was 12 years old at Penwortham Priory Academy.

"I just hope she gains from the experience, and she's been practicing so much for it, that it must have improved her skill level so who knows where she will aim next, it's all about believing isn't it."

YCYW is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs who are 26 years old or under, and they can come from any background.

First established in 1979, the competition was relaunched by hospitality experts The Nth Degree Global in 2019 in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association.

This year the awards formed a new partnership with the Department for International Trade, meaning that Young Chef Young Waiter 2021 now has a global audience, with Young Chef Young Waiter UK and Young Chef Young Waiter China & South East Asia competitions both taking place.