Ailidh-Jane wins top chef title

Ailidh-Jane and head chef Alan Rigby ponder random ingredients
Ailidh-Jane and head chef Alan Rigby ponder random ingredients

Former Cumbernauld college student Ailidh-Jane Carr won the coveted Young Chef of the Year title at a glittering ceremony in Sheffield.

The talented 20-year-old left Cumbernauld to pursue her dream ambition of becoming a chef by attending Sheffield University, and then became sous chef at the highly-rated Crossed Scythes restaurant.

Her talent saw her being selected as a contestant for the city’s annual culinary awards, and she made the final three – after a nerve-wracking Ready, Steady, Cook style competition.

And on Friday last week her delighted Gran, Marie Scoon, came to the News office to tell us Ailidh-Jane had won the Young Chef title outright.

“Her mum Alison and I couldn’t be more delighted,” she said, “particularly as she said our cooking gave her inspiration!”

Ailidh-Jane was up at 5.30am on the day of the award night to cover for a colleague at the Cross Scythes, and finally left work just in time to get to the awards ceremony.

Crossed Scythes head chef Alan Rigby, who nominated her for the honour, said:“I’m immensely proud of all that’s been achieved by the young chefs I’ve helped train.

“Of all these successes, tonight’s has to be the one that gives me most satisfaction, probably weighing in as the pinnacle of my career to date.”

Ailidh-Jane said:“Alan has been the best chef I’ve ever had. He has been supportive and kind – and pushy when he needs to be.

“I didn’t think I’d win this competition. It means the world. If I can win this, I can do anything– I’ve got some career ahead of me!