News article

Sam Lomas named River Cottage Rising Star 2013

Sam Lomas, an 18-year-old aspiring chef from Macclesfield, has been named as River Cottage’s first-ever Rising Star.

Sam saw off stiff competition from four fellow finalists to claim a one-in-a-lifetime year-long apprenticeship, based at River Cottage’s HQ near Axminster in east Devon.

The final five went head-to-head in a live culinary battle at River Cottage HQ on a baking Devon evening in front of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the judging panel, a crowd of around 400 guests and TV crew to boot.

In the end Hugh, together with judges Steve Lamb, Gill Meller and Stef Smith (below) had a difficult decision to make, but eventually settled on Sam’s plate of mackerel with beetroot, apple and horseradish salad, marinated julienne of courgette and goats’ cheese soda bread.

”I’m incredibly excited to have won,” said Sam, pictured right.

“Food, and indeed how food is made, has been a passion of mine for almost as long as I can remember.

“To have been named Rising Star whilst up against such supportive, talented and passionate finalists as Freyja, Florence, Ian and Jack, is an absolute privilege.

“The whole process of the River Cottage Rising Star competition has broadened my food horizons.”

seachange was approached earlier this year by River Cottage to devise a campaign to raise the profile of the new River Cottage Young Apprentice Scheme.

Our response to the brief was to produce a ground-breaking campaign, placing YouTube and Google+ at its core and our interactive video experience went on to uncover the best teenage chefs in the UK.

Entrants aged between 16 and 19 were invited to create a video response on YouTube to demonstrate their passion for food.

The public then decided which 10 chefs should progress to the live interview stage, using Google+ Hangouts, when the judges whittled down the field to five finalists to join Hugh at River Cottage for the final.