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College’s young chefs shine in Rotary Young Chef 2014 competition

The final of Frome Rotary Club’s Young Chef 2014 competition, sponsored by Dairy Crest, the Scallop Shell and apetito was held in the Frome College Design and Technology Department on Thursday 4th December and showcased a mouth-watering selection of delicious meals. 

Competitors were required to design and prepare a two course healthy meal, a main course and dessert for two people on a budget of £10. Eight students attended after school clubs to test and perfect their recipes for the day.

This year the competition got tougher as the District Competition has reduced the cooking time to only one hour and 15 minutes – a real challenge! All the ingredients were sourced from suppliers local to Frome, including Whiterow Farm Shop, H E Williams Butchers and The Scallop Shell.

Competitors were: Katie Lacey, Tia Roach, Gabriel Toomey, Keeley Berry, Becky Veness, Emma Anders and Molly McKechnie.

The winner was Emma Anders who cooked…

Smoked cod with sautéed new potatoes, rainbow chard and samphire on a bed of butternut squash puree with a white wine sauce.

A trio of desserts – Cappuccino cup, chocolate mousse and raspberry jelly.

Second place was awarded to Gabriel Toomey who cooked…

Chicken with morels in a sherry wine sauce with sautéed potatoes.

Chocolate Fondant and a caramel sauce.

Third place went to Katie Lacey who cooked…

Chicken breast wrapped in bacon in a Stilton sauce, served with roasted seasonal vegetables.

Sticky fig and walnut pudding with a chocolate sauce.

Rotary Club and Frome College were delighted to welcome Kevin King of The Scallop Shell and Kevin McDonagh, operations manager at apetito as this year’s judges. Garry Rosser owner of the Scallop Shell provided the winning prize of a day at his Cooking School. In the New Year, all seven finalists will take part in a fish cookery master class led by Kevin at the college.

Kevin King said, “I am blown away by the skills, and talent of these students. They show real potential for the future. They would not look out of place in a professional restaurant.”

Kevin McDonagh was called into judge at the last minute. He said, “The enthusiasm and passion shown by the chefs was simply breathtaking. I had no idea that I would see cooking at such a high standard.”

Emma will now start training to compete in the District Final in February 2015.

Frome Rotary Club are grateful to Dairy Crest who, once again, sponsored this year’s competition.

apetito’s events and visits coordinator, Tonia Shell, awarded each finalist with a recipe book as a lasting memento of the day, as well as an apetito goodie bag. She said, “What a great day – the chefs were so passionate”.

Sarah Petroff Teacher of Food and Hospitality said, “The students have worked extremely hard to prepare for this competition, and their talent, flair and culinary skills have certainly given the judges a difficult decision to make. As ever the standards were extremely high and I am very proud of all of the students and the quality of work that they have produced.

“Cooking for professional chefs with the support of our wider community has provided another invaluable learning opportunity for our students; it has been a fantastic experience. We really appreciate the generosity and support of the sponsors who have allowed our students to enjoy and benefit from this fantastic experience.”

College principal, Mr Ball said, “It always amazes me how professional and creative these students are with their ideas, they produce such high quality and delicious meals. The competition could not take place without our sponsors and the commitment and hard work from the students and their teachers. It is a fantastic event and I would like to thank everyone involved who made this happen.”