Young chefs cook up a treat for judges in Banburyshire competition

Eight budding masterchefs produced a selection of culinary delights to impress judges in the Banbury area Rotary Young Chef Competition last Friday.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 1:55 pm
The eight finalists in the Rotary Young Chef competition last Friday

The young cooks - all of whom had to be under 17 last August - took part in the final round using the kitchens of Bloxham School.

Their brief was to show off their creative culinary talents, develop their cookery and food presentation skills and to promote healthy eating. The experience was also designed to prove their organisational and planning skills and show they can cope under pressure. Entrants were invited from all Banbury area schools and Banbury and Bicester College.

Bernard Goodchild of the Rotary Club of Banbury said: "Competitors were are asked to prepare, cook and serve a three-course, healthy meal suitable for two people, to cost no more than £15.

Rotary Young Chef of the Year, Molly Brigden receives her plaque from deputy town Mayor Cllr Surinder Dhesi

"Three experienced judges monitored the participants' cooking skills, tasted their dishes and selected a winner and runner-up. Peter Harvey lead the judges with Joy Webb, a former Food Safety Office at Cherwell District Council and Nick Osborne an experienced food specialist colleague of Peter Harvey.

"The cooking took place for a fixed period of two hours with the judges over-viewing the finalists throughout and tasting each meal individually."

Mr Harvey congratulated the finalists on the very high standard of competition. The winner was Holly Brigden with Isabella Ellis as runner-up. Both are students at Bloxham School. Holly now takes part in the district final on February 1 in Newbury. Isabella will be included in a draw of second placed finalists from other clubs and if successful will join Holly on the day.

The evening concluded with Surinder Dhesi, Deputy Town Mayor and current President of the Rotary Club of Banbury, presenting Holly and Isabella with their trophies.

Runner-up Isabella Ellis is pictured with Cllr Surinder Dhesi
Finalists are pictured hard at work on their dishes for the competition
Young Chef of the Year winner Molly Brigden during the preparation stage of the contest