On To A Winner
After being promoted to head chef at Northcote, talented Danny Young has been named as one of the most promising young chefs in the UK in the Acorn ‘30 under 30’ Awards
Northcote head chef Danny Young was delighted when he was named as one of this year’s Acorn Award winners that recognise the brightest prospects in the hospitality industry. Each year just 30 talented individuals, throughout the UK, under the age of 30 are honoured.
Danny joined Northcote in 2010 as a 16-year-old apprentice, working his way up to the head chef position and winning many prestigious awards along the way including National Young Chef of the Year in 2018.
Speaking about the Caterer’s Acorn Award, Danny says: “It’s amazing to be recognised by the awards after such a tough year for the industry and being amongst so many talented people felt really positive.
“You never set out to try and win awards, but it’s a great feeling to be given an Acorn Award and become part of an elite group. I just want to keep on learning and developing as a chef.”
Danny’s interest in food began as a young boy watching his mum and grandma cooking: “I was always interested in food and enjoyed watching cookery programmes on TV. Watching Great British Menu in 2010 when Lisa won probably inspired me to go into the kitchen as a career. Northcote has always had a fantastic reputation and when I was younger it was the only Michelin starred restaurant in Lancashire.”
Before leaving high school Danny had already been accepted on a four-year apprenticeship at Northcote. He showed promise from the outset – the year he completed his apprenticeship he finished second in North West Chef of the Year and was promoted to demi-chef de partie at Northcote.
He went on to win National Young Chef of the Year 2018: “As a young chef you always want to keep improving and moving forward.
“As part of my prize from winning National Young Chef of the Year 2018, I went on a three-day trip to Norway as part of a group of 10 chefs.
“We visited local colleges teaching chef skills and went sea fishing in Tromso. I caught my first skrei cod and we were joined by Michel Roux Jr. It was an amazing experience that I feel lucky to have been a part of.
“The trip inspired me to keep pushing and when I was promoted to head chef it was a brilliant feeling, even though a lot of responsibility comes with the job.”
Over the years Danny has become an integral part of Obsession at Northcote, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. This hugely successful gastronomic festival is known as one of the most prestigious, internationally recognised, gourmet events.
This annual occasion sees chefs from around the world showcase their creativity and innovative cuisine with a five-course signature menu on consecutive evenings over 15 nights.
Speaking about the event, Danny says: “Obsession in an incredible event to be part of.
“Every year is different and there’s a lot to learn from watching the guest chefs cook and the ingredients they use. It’s a great way to make connections with some of the world’s top chefs.
“I completed a two-week stage at Restaurant Ocean at Vila Vita Parc in Portugal with two Michelin starred Hans Neuner.
“I was lucky enough to dine there and it was one of the best meals I’ve eaten. It combined traditional Portuguese flavours with some of the finest ingredients and best seafood. I learned a lot from working in a different environment and it all came from meeting him at Obsession.”
Obsession has also taken Danny and Northcote’s executive chef Lisa Goodwin Allen to Austria: “Another stand out Obsession chef for me is Juan Amador. After his Obsession night, Lisa and I and a couple of chefs took a trip to Austria on a fact-finding mission. It was a busy 24 hours as we visited the food markets to sample the cheeses and beer, then we went to the three-Michelin starred Restaurant Amador, which is set in an old wine cave.
“It was an incredible experience to enjoy his menu in those surroundings. It was a memorable trip!”
Obsession is set to return in 2022, when Northcote will be ready to deliver another unique celebration of gastronomy
Tickets for Obsession22 will be released at the end of September 2021