Talented Warrington Collegiate chef Russell Wood is appealing for public votes to help him achieve his “crowning glory” at the City & Guilds People’s Choice Awards next month.
Russell, who is studying professional cookery at the college, will attend the prestigious Lion Awards ceremony in London on Thursday 15th June.
There, Russell will collect a City & Guilds Medal of Excellence award, but also hopes he will be successful in achieving the People’s Choice Award too.
Every Medal winner is eligible to take part in the People’s Choice Award and can campaign for votes via social media, from friends, family and colleagues.
Former St Gregory’s High School pupil Russell needs as many votes as possible to help him take home what will be his third award of the year after also winning the Worshipful Company of Cooks Cherry Grainger Prize.
As well as completing his studies at Warrington Collegiate, Russell is also working part-time alongside Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne at his Manchester House restaurant.
The incredible opportunity arose thanks to the college’s links with Aiden, which have seen numerous students – including Russell – complete work placements at his restaurants.
Russell, and fellow catering student Jack Vance, will both start full time positions at Manchester House at the end of their course.
“This year has been such a whirlwind,” said Russell.
“I have achieved beyond what I thought I was capable of. To achieve the Cherry Grainger Award and the City & Guilds Medal of Excellence are such honours. The People’s Choice Award would be the crowning glory for me!”
Russell, who was also part of the college’s silver medal winning team at the Welsh International Culinary Championship, added: “I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had this year. The whole thing has been such a surreal experience. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of this if it was not for my fantastic tutors at the college – they have pushed me and supported me every step of the way.”
Russell has been taught everything he knows by the college’s chef lecturer, Scott Surtees, and Andy Macleod, curriculum leader for hospitality & catering.
Scott said: “Russell is such a talented young chef. I couldn’t be more proud of what he has achieved this year. I am positive he will go on to fantastic things. To have already achieved a full-time chef position before leaving college is a fantastic achievement. It would be fantastic if he was able to cap his time at Warrington Collegiate with a People’s Choice Award!”
Andy added: “There is no one more deserving than Russell of this award. He produces consistently outstanding work, he goes above and beyond every single day and gives up his free time to help in the kitchen, not because he has to, but because he has such a passion for the industry.”
Voting opens on May 16 and will close at midnight on June 9, 2017. To vote for Russell, visit: http://lionawards.cityandguilds.com/content/peoples-choice once voting has opened.