North Suffolk student impresses celebrity chef Jamie Oliver with culinary delights in cooking competition

NSSA Director Mark Attenborough,left, student Ellis Parnell and Chef-Lecturer Stephen David from Be

NSSA Director Mark Attenborough,left, student Ellis Parnell and Chef-Lecturer Stephen David from Bespoke Events at NSSA Halesworth. - Credit: Archant

A north Suffolk student has been named runner-up in the Jamie Oliver national youth cooking competition.

Ellis Parnell from the North Suffolk Skills Academy at Halesworth was runner-up in the individual category of Jamie's Home Cooking Skills 2014 Competition.

Announced on the YouTube page of the East Anglian chef and worldwide celebrity as part of this year's Food Revolution Day, the main man himself paid personal tribute to the efforts of young student Ellis from Halesworth's NSSA chef academy, who came second nationally in the competition.

The video shows Oliver announcing the winner and then praising Ellis and his tutors at the academy.

He said: 'Ellis did a really great job,' before describing his menu as 'a beautiful job with a nice mix of flavours.'

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Ellis clearly impressed with his closely-fought second place menu entry, coached by Stephen David, NSSA chef academy lead lecturer and chef-director of Bespoke Events who, together with his team of senior chefs and catering specialists, are playing a key role in delivering the dedicated culinary skillsets in the NSSA's chef academy.

The academy allows students to learn in purpose-built commercial kitchens from qualified, passionate professionals while gaining accredited national vocational qualifications.

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Ellis designed a virtual dinner party menu, which consisted of wonderful local produce mixed up with great global flavours and a real contemporary style, which all appealed to Oliver. Showcasing East Anglian ingredients with the addition of some tasty worldwide accompaniments, Ellis' dish choices were a starter of Thai fishcake with East Coast cod and Cromer crab, served with Asian-style coleslaw, chilli sauce, cucumber and roasted peanuts. The main course consisted of peppered local duck breast with new potatoes, fresh peas and broad beans, wild garlic and a sherry vinegar and parsley leaf dressing, accompanied by a spiced zesty non-alcoholic cocktail of Brown River with ginger beer, cola, grenadine, cinnamon and ginger.

Mr David said: 'Ellis obviously deserves a special pat on the back. To receive the phone call to say he came second nationally in this prestigious Jamie Oliver competition is such an excellent finish to the term and testament not just to Ellis' particular efforts but also all the interest and keenness from all the hard-working students. We of course look forward to one of this group or a student chef from next year's new potential Jamies and Nigellas coming to the NSSA taking first place in the 2015 competition.'

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