Young ‘masterchefs’ find recipe for success

YOUNG Master Chefs in the making “did themselves proud” after serving up some sumptuous treats in an annual cooking competition.

Mountfichet Mathematics and Computing College (MMCC), Friends’ School, Newport Free Grammar and Saffron Walden County High all took part in the Young Chef competition organised by the Rotary Club of Saffron Walden, with seven students picked to compete in the final last Thursday.

And the budding cooks had a tough job on their hands. They had two hours to cook a two-course meal for two people, served – as it would be in a restaurant – to a panel of judges made up of Sophie Ward, teacher of Technology at MMCC, which hosted the event, and professional chefs Hassan Shamkh from The Restaurant, Saffron Walden and Tony Martin of Linden House, Stansted. The ingredients, sponsored by Waitrose, had to cost less than �10.

Rotarian David Riley said: “It was amazing to see the students working with such concentration, just as the contestants do on Master Chef, in order to present their meals for the judges. The competition was amazing and a great learning experience, but really nerve racking as well.”

Presentations were made after the competition. Jake Ogilvie of Friends’ School won ‘Best Dish’ with his excellent Sweet & Sour Chicken Surprise.

Poppy Oldroyd, of Newport Free Grammar, won overall with a delicious homemade pasta dish of Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli, followed by a flavoursome Passion Fruit Souffl�. She was presented with a signed copy of Nigellissima and a Waitrose voucher.

The 14-year-old will now compete in the Rotary district final on March 2 at Suffolk One Sixth Form College in Ipswich..