A class of young Chesterfield chefs have been given a taste of Derbyshire's farming industry in a special farm to fork experience.
The experience was organised by Destination Chesterfield and Leabrooks-based family butcher Owen Taylor & Sons and saw 11 students from Chesterfield College’s Level 2 Cookery course visit the Tickled Trout in Barlow, Taylor & Sons’ factory butchery and the Red Tractor-assured Butterley Top Farm in Ashover.
Organisers say the visits were designed to give the students an appreciation for the best farming, butchery and culinary skills.
Owen Taylor & Sons' operations manager Carl Evans accompanied the students on the visit and said: “It’s important for students to have this experience so they can appreciate for themselves how beneficial it is for catering businesses to put local meat on the menu.
"They can see the sustainability and high welfare at the farm and how that helps to create a high-quality final product."
The group of aspiring young chefs included students Jake Parkin, Sophia Johnson and Callum Fitzpatrick, who have all been shortlisted for the prestigious Young Chef of the Year 2019 title at next month's Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.
Earlier this year the trio took part in a cook-off which saw them prepare a two-course meal for judges, who included Chris Mapp, owner of the Tickled Trout and Richard Taylor, managing director of Owen Taylor & Sons - which is sponsoring the award.
The winner will be announced at the awards - organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Chesterfield College - on Wednesday, October 23.
Peter Swallow, chair of Destination Chesterfield, praised the Tickled Trout and Owen Taylor & Sons for their involvement in the 2019 Food and Drink Awards, saying: “The farm to fork experience is great for the young chefs from Chesterfield College.
"It gives them a real insight into where our food comes from and how it gets from the farm to the plate – it’s important for any chef to understand that.
“When we established the awards six years ago, we wanted to make people aware of the thriving food and drink sector in Chesterfield, including aspiring young chefs.
"Hopefully the students now have a clearer view of the fantastic opportunities in the town.”
As well as the Young Chef of the Year title, the winners of all 15 categories will be announced by celebrity chef, Brian Turner - who is hosting this year’s glittering black-tie awards ceremony at the Winding Wheel.
In addition to Owen Taylor & Sons, other supporters of the awards include Apprentice Town (Led by Chesterfield Borough Council), Banner Jones Solicitors, BHP Chartered Accountants, Casa Hotel, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derbyshire Times, Distinctive Magic, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), Edge Events Management Ltd, Elder Way (Jomast Developments), FEAST – Food and Drink Forum, Hoods Florist, Jumble Creative Design, Kier Group, Learning Unlimited (The Chesterfield College Group), Magnifica, MSE Hiller, Peak FM, Reflections Magazine (Bannister Publications Ltd), Shorts Chartered Accountants and Vicar Lane Shopping Centre.
For more information about the awards, visit www.chesterfield.co.uk/foodanddrinkawards.