Rising Star finalists sharpen their knives to prepare for culinary battle at River Cottage HQ

Five aspiring young chef finalists have been put through their culinary paces and have made it one step closer to landing their dream apprenticeship placement at River Cottage HQ with Hugh and the River Cottage team.

The River Cottage Rising Star 2013 competition was launched to give one lucky individual the best possible start to their career and to become the face of its new Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme. In turn we hope that our Rising Star will inspire other budding Chefs so that that they too can join us on this programme.

The winner will gain a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to secure 12 months employment working with the team at River Cottage HQ, Park Farm.

The young talented foodies have fought off tough competition by taking part in a number of demanding rounds that have led them to be selected as finalists. Each entrant has uploaded a video to Youtube which demonstrated their love of food and ambition to become a chef. The eight most popular videos that attracted the majority of public votes’, plus two River Cottage selected wildcards, went through to the live hang-outs with River Cottage expert judges Gill Meller, Steven Lamb and Stef Smith. Here they fought to make it through to the final five.

Finalist Florence Cornish comments;

The Rising Star competition means the world to me! The competition itself and the Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme means that you can be taught skills by some of the best in the business and learn as much as possible by working in a professional kitchen. The experience has been exciting, challenging, unusual and everything I would expect from an organisation as innovative as River Cottage. It has definitely not been your usual interview process and I think it is all the better for it, as all the contestants and especially my fellow finalists have great passion and personality, and can only help to encourage more people into similar schemes.”

The next step is to show Hugh and the team what they are made of at Park Farm on 11th July. All five finalists will compete in the live culinary battle to become the River Cottage Rising Star 2013. The final will be filmed and broadcasted on Wednesday 17th July across the River Cottage Social Media networks.

The local finalists are Florence Cornish, Jack Botha, Freyja Davis, and Sam Lomas, with one finalist Ian Chin, flying all the way from America to compete.

River Cottage Young Chef Apprenticeship Scheme is still accepting applications for its September intake. To apply go to http://www.rivercottage.net/hq/chefs-school/young-chef-apprenticeship-scheme/