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Talented young chef takes over the kitchen at Kelsall venue

A 23-YEAR-OLD chef at Kelsall’s Royal Oak got a taste of the big time when he took over the kitchen for an evening – and had the head chef working for him.

The role reversal put Reef Weston in charge as more than 60 diners sat down for a three-course dinner.

His chance to shine came at one of Taste North West’s Talented Chef events which put him in charge of a kitchen team that included the Royal Oak’s experienced head chef Paul Haworth.

"Everyone started ordering at once and it was ‘go-go-go’ for the next two hours," said Reef. "But it was a great feeling afterwards when I went out to meet the customers. Their feedback was fantastic."

"It was a great night for Reef," said Paul Haworth, "and he rose to the occasion in grand style. He’s already getting a name for himself and if he carries on like this he’ll be a force to contend with in the future."

Reef, who was born at Duddon and lives at Delamere, has worked at the Royal Oak for seven months and is usually the restaurant’s pastry chef.

He began learning his trade after leaving Tarporley High School - working at local pubs, restaurants and hotels, a local patisserie and then for a cake and dessert specialist in South Yorkshire.

"I love seeing the product of my work," he said. "Putting something on a plate that looks good makes me feel good too - and the job satisfaction is unreal."

Reef’s ultimate ambition is to own his own patisserie or perhaps even a restaurant.

"But that’s a long way off," he says. "For the moment, I just want to keep learning."

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