Student run restaurant L20 up for top award

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L20 restaurant Fish Pie
L20 restaurant Fish Pie

A Merseyside restaurant run by students has been shortlisted for the Food Porn Awards. L20 in Bootle has been nominated for not one, but two dishes.

The restaurant’s classic Fish Pie features alongside other big industry names for the Casual Dining Award, whilst their delicious Black Forest Gateau dessert, which featured in the Fine Dining category, just missed out after the choice was made open to the public.

Anthony Wright, L20’s head chef, says: “We do a lot of takes on classics. We take classic flavours, break it down and rework it in to a really good dish.”

The restaurant’s Fish Pie is the prime example of the clever technique used by L20 chefs to take a standard meal and refine it into something new:  “We made the Fish Pie stand out by putting a little bit of green in the mash and flavouring it with basil before blow torching the plate and covering the dish with crumbled parmesan and cheese crumb, to give it that crisp taste.”

L20 was created by Hugh Baird College back in 2013. The professional restaurant, coming off the back end of the school, provides both education and training experience to inspire those individuals who wish to shape their future in hospitality and take that final step before making it in the industry.

Behind the magic is a team of dedicated teaching staff. Students, alongside a general manager, a head chef, two sous chefs, a restaurant manager and a small team of apprentices, run the core of the business.

The final dishes are to be reviewed by a panel of valued judges, including food developers and food bloggers at the Northern Bar Show in March 2018. Here, the awards will be given to the best-looking dishes, putting pressure on L20 chefs to create their most visually pleasing dish.

Winning would be a great achievement for not only the L20 restaurant, but also the entire school. The school prides itself on improving student success and nurturing their talents to prepare them with a ‘can do’ attitude when facing the tough hospitality world, and receiving such an honour as a Food Porn Award would only heighten their success.

The chef of 17 years, Anthony Wright says: “It’s a great achievement; it feels really good to get recognised and great to get the college on the map. We don’t get much money for marketing, so this means a lot.”

Ahead of the game, L20 have already built up a high reputation of themselves and began building their successful empire.

“This has given us a good reputation with lots of chefs in Liverpool and given us the chance to build good relationships with the likes of Malmaison hotel. We are even being recognised by local chefs who come and to do a teaching night at the college and try our food. They love it.” 

L20 can be found on Exeter Rd in Bootle and is open to the public. 

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