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The Northgate’s Greig Young is feeling inspired by students at West Suffolk College

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One of my favourite parts about being a chef is getting to work with so many talented people at the start of their career – I love the raw energy! I long for that feeling of everything you learn is new, nothing is boring and every ingredient sparks a new idea or memory.

I believe the freedom and imagination of an untrained chef (well anyone creative) is something very special. I am proud of every chef I have brought up the ranks and hopefully taught them a thing or two about cooking, but also how a chef should act. There’s too much negativity in our industry which is already hard enough, so my advice for all you great young chefs out there or all you young MasterChef fans, find a good college, ask questions and look at the local chefs that offer up their free time to help you, not the ones that come to judge you. The ones that come to help you learn are the ones that will see you right.

I’m very lucky to work alongside West Suffolk College – I write about them a lot, but it’s just. I wish 15 years ago when I was studying cooking at Glasgow Metropolitan college, we had the support and opportunity these young adults have.

Salmon & green rhubarb ceviche, asparagus and yoghurt (56682172)
Salmon & green rhubarb ceviche, asparagus and yoghurt (56682172)

This year they hosted a college against college cooking competition – each team did an internal heat then they competed against each other while being mentored by some great chefs – Sam Sturman, Alan Payton, Dave Wall, Sam Carter to name a few. All gave their time to really inspire some future stars.

Today, I’m going to share a recipe for the team I mentored, it was fabulously executed and beautifully presented. Always remember in cooking things, trying things and being creative, not everyone will like it, and that’s fine, don’t do it to be judged, do it because you love it and take negative feedback as a positive because nobody better than you will ever put you down.

To Ewan Smith, Lois Thompson and Sofia Pipe, you nailed it, we are so proud of you and winners all day long to everyone that counts.

Until next month,

Greig. x


200g salmon

1 stick green rhubarb, grated finely, skin on and kept in the juice as a pulp

½ a lime

100g thick yoghurt

2 green asparagus, trimmed and stems cleaned

2 white asparagus peeled (if you can source)

4 leaves of wild garlic (responsibly sourced, of course)

This dish is more about method than anything and sourcing the best ingredients. A ceviche is normally done with citrus, but the guys decided to use green rhubarb as it’s just as acidic (see what I mean about young chefs!).

Slice your salmon nice and thin and keep cold until 10 minutes before you serve it. Chill four plates.

In a hot pan with no oil scorch your green asparagus then take them out – on this occasion a bit of burn is good as it will complement the raw fish.

Cut the white asparagus into 2-inch batons, then cut in to quarters to resemble a matchstick.

Repeat with the green and put aside, cut the wild garlic into the same length strips.

Dress your salmon in your rhubarb juice and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes to cure.

Dress the base of the plate with yoghurt, then the salmon and its dressing.

Arrange the asparagus and wild garlic nicely on top.

On the day, they served it with a lovely jalapeno salt and crispy wild garlic wafers, but that is two too many recipes to give you at once!

I hope you try their awesome version of the classic ceviche, well done team West Suffolk.

Greig Young is head chef at The Northgate, Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds

Call 01284 339604

Visit www.thenorthgate.com