25 years ago this week: Thursday, April 16, 1987

NOUVELLE cuisine could soon be coming to the area thanks to the efforts of a fine young cook who this month won a major award.

Richard Sim, 18, of Lesbury Road, Hipsburn, gained first place and the Student of the Year award at the prestigious bi-annual Northumbria Salon Culinaire held at the Gateshead Leisure Centre.

And as a result, the second-year Catering student at the Northumbrian Technical College, Ashington, won the Northern Gas Silver Challenge Trophy, a Gold Medal and certificate, plus £50 worth of cooking knives.

To win the trophy, Richard, an ex-pupil at Alnwick’s Duchess’s High School, had to prepare and serve a three-course meal in under three hours, as a large audience cast their expert eyes over his performance.

Richard’s winning menus featured minestrone soup to start with, then lamb cutlets reforme with fondant potatoes and green beans in butter, before rounding off with apple flan.

He said the easiest part of the meal was the butchery work in preparing the cutlets, and the hardest preparing the pastry for the flan, which is not his speciality.

Richard, who when not at college works part time in the Tankervile Arms, Eglingham, told the Advertiser that when his college course finishes, he hopes to go to London to gain experience as a chef, then come back to the area to open his own restaurant, possibly specialisng in nouvelle cuisine dishes, and French-style food.

In terms of culinary heroes, Richard said: “I admire the work of Anton Mossman, the head chef of the Dorchester Hotel in London,” adding that one of his lecturers at college, Peter Wilson, who taught in the same style, had been a help by showing him what to do.