"Proud of what I have achieved": Owner of Penwortham's Cowshed cooks up a storm at a young chef competition in Dubai

Although the competition is now over for Emma, she has gained a wealth of experience.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 9:02 am

Yesterday, the chef and owner of the Cowshed in Penwortham competed in the semi finals of 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.

For the semi final on Monday, each semi-finalist chef was paired with a waiter, themselves competing for this year's young waiter award, and together they had 2.5 hours to create two lots of a two course menu.

Emma Rooke competed in the semi finals of the Young Chef Young Waiter Awards yesterday.

All of the ingredients, other than the meat on the main dish, were unknown to the chefs until they entered the kitchen, and for her main course, Emma cooked quail with potato and beetroot, whilst her dessert was chocolate orange with beetroot.

Although Emma found out last night that she did not get through to the final, which is taking place today, she told the Post that she is having an amazing time regardless.

Speaking from Dubai, Emma said: "I’m so pleased to be here and I am proud of what I have achieved - I competed against the best young chefs in the UK!

"I’m glad that I made it to the semi finals in Dubai and I have met some great friends whilst I’ve been here.

Emma competed all the way in Dubai, alongside 9 of the best young chefs in the UK.

"Those who didn’t make it to the finals today have still come to the world expo for the day, and it’s one of the most incredible places I have ever visited. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t applied for the competition, I’m so glad that I did it."

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: "The love of food has taken Emma on a great journey, she has gained a wealth of experience and developed in a way we would not have imagined.

"As a young cook I knew she had something special, and she has now travelled far and wide for her passion of food, so I am sure she will be wiser and will have a lot of new ideas for the future. Who knows where her journey will be to next, but I am sure, knowing Emma, that she will have something planned.

In total 10 chefs and 10 waiters took part in the semi finals.

"I look forward to hearing all about the great adventure to Dubai and feel extremely proud of what she has achieved."

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.

In the final today, five chefs and five waiters are competing, and the winners will be announced on the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai tonight.

Emma's main course: quail with potato and beetroot
Emma then made a dessert of chocolate orange with beetroot