Next generation of Young Chef

Posted on: 18/11/2016

Aspiring young chefs from Great Torrington School came together recently to battle out in the annual Rotary Young Chef Competition at GTS. 
The pupils, from years 7 to 9, had to prepare a two course meal with a pre-set budget and time limit, under the watchful eyes of the judges.  The aim of competition was to win a place in the next round to be held at Petroc College on the 9th November.

All the judges were impressed by the pupils’ maturity and organisational skills.  They were particularly impressed of how good the food and skills that they utilised when you consider the age of the contestants.  Despite a few of the contestants not having much cooking experience, they were using the competition to challenge themselves to learn and develop their own cooking ability and confidence in the kitchen.

After much deliberation, the winners were announced, in third place was Daniel Balsdon, Y7; in second place Alex Stacey, Y8 and finally Joe Mitchell, Y9 was declared the overall winner.

Joe and Alex both went through to compete at Petroc College last week and also qualify for the Future Chefs Competition at a later date.  They found the experience at Petroc College very interesting and challenging.  They were the youngest Rotary Young Chef contestants taking part and were mainly competing against Year 11 students from other schools. The overall standard was excellent, and although Joe and Alex didn’t win they were praised for both their organisational and cooking skills and we know that they will have gained experience and confidence from participating in the competition.

All candidates that took part were praised by Rotarian, Jenny Staines, she congratulated them all for working extremely hard with their preparation before the event and on the day, and they were a real credit to the school and themselves. Before handing our prizes to winners and gifts for those taking part, she gave them a few key points about their costings sheets and menus.

We would like to thank the Torrington Rotary Club for their time and dedication for this event. The pupils were particularly pleased with the unexpected prizes they all received for taking part.

Here are some of the young chef’s comments:

Emily S, Y9
“I do a lot of cooking at home, I wanted to use this competition to become more independent and challenge myself.”  
Top Tip: Finely grate your carrot for carrot cake
Favourite dish to cook: Carrot Cake

Emily T, Y10
“I like tasting news things and learning about different types of food and culture” 
Top Tip: To have fun cooking and experimenting.         
Favourite dish to cook: Chicken wrapped in cheese and bacon

Cleo Babb, Y8
“I like cooking, it’s good for the experience and this challenge shows me that I can cook under pressure. I have really enjoyed cooking today.

Neve C, Y8
“I wanted to take part in this competition as I’ve always liked cooking a lot at home and enjoy learning new recipes.”
Favourite Dish: Chilli
Top Tip: Don’t touch your face when handling chilli.

Amy Symons, Y 9
“I wanted to do this competition because I like cooking all the time, especially for my family. I really enjoying cooking with Nana, today I feel quite clam about this competition.
Favourite Dish: Chocolate Brownies
Top Tip:  Keep checking the oven

Joe Mitchell, Y 9
“I like cooking and I am looking at it as being a potential job choice when I am older.
Favourite Dish: Victoria Sponge

Alex Stacey, Y8
“I like this competition as you can do whatever you want to have a go at.  I like the fact that you can go on further ahead.”


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