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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Budding South Cumbria chefs given London chance to learn from crème de la crème

THE Dalton One Week Only food festival has not only raised more than £30,000 for charity, but has now provided a pair of up-and-coming local chefs with a shot at the London big time.

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OPPORTUNITIES From left, chef Carl Semple, 32, from Bowness, and chef Josh Shaw, 18, from Ulverston, and Lake District Farmers director Steve Winward.

Josh Shaw and Carl Semple have been given the chances of a lifetime to learn from Michelin-starred chefs at two of London’s finest dining establishments.

Award-winning chef Alyn Williams was so impressed with Mr Shaw’s performance in the kitchen he offered him a full-time job at his restaurant in Mayfair.

And Mr Semple will travel to London next month to spend two days under the tutelage of Andre Garrett at his restaurant Galvin At Windows overlooking Hyde Park.

The opportunities have been an unexpected bonus from the event held in Dalton earlier this month to raise money for the Lake District Farmers Armstrong Family Charitable Fund.

Mr Shaw, 18, of Ulverston, worked in the Clarence House kitchen beside chefs Nigel Haworth, Simon Rogan, Angela Hartnett, Luke Rayment, Andy Cook and Mr Williams.

The young chef, who has been learning his craft at The Mill in Ulverston, said his plan before entering the kitchen with such exulted company was simply to relax and not make any mistakes.

Whatever Mr Shaw did, it certainly made an impression on Mr Williams, who worked for five years as head chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley before branching out on his own.

“I was working with Alyn Williams on the night and then at the end we had a chat and he said he would be happy to give me a job as a commis chef,” he said.

“I didn’t even think about it, I just said yes and now my first day is on Monday.”

Mr Semple, who has been working at the Merewood Country House Hotel and Restaurant in Windermere for the last four years, will go to London on March 14 and 15 for a two-day trial.

The 32-year-old, from Bowness, will be working in Mr Garrett’s kitchen on the 28th floor of the Hilton in Park Lane.

He said: “I didn’t expect anything like this to happen.

“I was hoping that something might come out of it, but I was just happy to be in the same kitchen with these chefs.

Lake District Farmers director Steve Winward, who played an integral role in organising the charity event, said: “We didn’t foresee this happening – although we hoped it would. It speaks volumes about the guys in the kitchen.”

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