Meet YNCOTY finalist Eden Allsworth, demi chef de partie at Cliveden House Hotel
Eden is working as a demi chef de partie at Cliveden House Hotel. Before this she was at Colette’s at the Grove Hotel in Watford. She trained for three years at Broadstairs College where she completed her level 2 and 3 and a specialised pastry course.
What she loves most about being a chef is the fact that you are always learning. There is always something or someone that you can learn from and that’s why she has always wanted to be a chef.
It was at the age of six that she decided that this is what she wanted to do and her parents, who were both chefs at the time, were hugely supportive. However, they were also very honest about the industry telling her how rewarding it is but also how hard it can be. So far in her career, it is her dad who has inspired her the most. He was a chef until 2009 and a chef lecturer at Broadstairs College until 2019. He has been there from her first competition at 14 right up until now where she still phones to ask questions and get his opinions on her food and competition plans. All the head chefs and executive chefs she has worked for have also been inspiring to her as they have all done competitions and have pushed her to achieve the best.
Her favourite thing about competing is the atmosphere, and she loves being able to focus and push herself to be the best person she can be. Eden is incredibly excited and honoured to be picked for the final of Young National Chef of the Year, especially as she enjoyed the semi-final in 2018. She admits this year she would be happy with any result because just being in the final is such a big opportunity for her, however, when the competition begins, she will be pushing to go as far as she can.
During lockdown, she has grabbed the rare opportunity to spend time with her family and relax but also to learn about new chefs and techniques. The biggest challenge for her in the build up to the final is her work-life balance. As she is fully committed to the job she loves, practicing has had to be done in her own time meaning she doesn’t always get to take full advantage of her days off.
Eden feels that one of the good things to have come out of COVID-19 is that people have become more aware of sustainability and local produce, especially at the start of the pandemic when there were shortages of certain foods. She told us that people overcame that challenge by becoming more savvy in the way they cooked to get more yield out of the product, which also meant less waste.