Food news: Sheffield teenager scoops pastry chef plaudit

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A Sheffield teenager and budding chef has proved her industry skills are cutting edge after winning this year’s Young Pastry Chef of the Year competition.

Nineteen-year-old Louise Downs, of Greenhill, had to prepare and present two plated desserts including a classic soufflé within two hours for the David Lyell Scholarship competition - and was in the final alongside two industry professionals.

Her second dessert to wow the judges was a chocolate and lime mousse, served with a white chocolate and lime cream, lime meringue and a sesame crumble.

Louise, who is completing the Professional Chefs Diploma at Level 3 at The Sheffield College’s City campus on Granville Road, won a work placement with a top pastry chef.

She said: “It was an amazing experience, and I feel really pleased to have done so well.”

The college has a £1.2 million catering wing and is well known for its hospitality courses, with many students going on to work at prestigious restaurants or hotels.

Mick Burke, deputy head of hospitality, travel and tourism, one of only two Master Chefs of Great Britain Fellows in education in the UK, said: “Louise is a highly motivated, dedicated and organised student.

“Those qualities and her vocational skills helped her to clinch first place.

“For her to win against industry professionals is incredible.”

n In Rotherham, a new bar is on the way.

The 1915 Bar & Bistro - formerly Yates Wine Lodge - is set to open on Domine Lane. Its owner is local businessman Mark McGrail, and the name is a nod to Rotherham’s General Post Office which occupied the site and the building next door in 1915.

Mark has exposed English stitch bricks to restore a wall to its natural state, blocked sunlights have been uncovered and original stained glass windows restored.

The new bar and bistro has an indoor mezzanine.

The bistro-style menu has chunky burgers and steaks, while an outdoor kitchen will also serve street food.

Also in Rotherham a restaurant on Ship Hill has been approved, and there is also the new Amber Lounge - a cocktail, champagne and craft beer lounge on Moorgate Street.

n Sheffield’s Street City food festival returns with a Christmas special this weekend. The event, off Ecclesall Road, includes food traders and a Santa’s grotto, and all profits will go towards helping the homeless.