Meet YNCOTY finalist Charlie Crote, junior sous chef at Allegra
After training at Gloucestershire College, Charlie is currently working as a junior sous chef at Allegra and before that he worked at The Ritz London. He gets such a buzz from making people happy through food and feels there is nothing better than the thrill of a busy service.
When he was growing up, he didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do for a career but admits he did fancy the girls, so when they did cookery, he joined them too. It turned out that he really enjoyed cooking! His mum is the inspiration for everything he does as he says he just wants to make her proud!
Charlie loves the excitement of competing with everyone aiming to be the overall winner amongst a room of great cooks. He feels very privileged to be part of Young National Chef of the Year. Whilst it was unexpected at first, his main goal is now to win! To be named the Young National Chef of the Year at this particular time would be incredible, especially as he feels so much of this year has been wasted.
During lockdown he cooked a lot and taught himself how to make the perfect loaf of sourdough. He moved back to his fiancés’ parents and spent lots of time walking the dogs out in the fresh air. He found another part time job for the last month of lockdown doing takeaway food, to keep him busy.
Finding time to practise has been hard, as they reopened the restaurant at the beginning of July and since then they have been busier than ever. One positive that he will take away from the COVID-19 situation is that he spent three months with his fiancé. Whilst he admits this might not seem like a positive to some, he knows that being a chef restricts how much time you spend with loved ones, so they treasured the time they could spend together this year.