Students from three Christchurch schools cooked up a storm in the semi-finals of the Christchurch Food Festival Junior Cook of the Year competition.
The competition, organised by Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust and sponsored by Christchurch Rotary, requires students to prepare a main course and dessert capable of being served at a special occasion.
The students, all in Year 10, rose to the occasion and produced some mouthwatering results which not only tasted good but also got top marks for presentation.
The judging panel, consisted of TV chef and patron of the Food Festival Lesley Waters, president of the festival Mary Reader, president of Christchurch Rotary David Crumpler and local chefs Ian Hewitt and Ian Gibbs.
The Grange School winner was Grace Voller with her pan fried chicken and pasta and dessert of individual strawberry and raspberry puddings.
Top place at Highcliffe School went to Rebecca Summers who cooked five-spice roasted duck breast with cherry and shiraz sauce and sesame noodles followed by mango fool with an almond tuile biscuit and chocolate work.
The Twynham School winner was Niall O’Brien who presented lamb parcels with cranberry sauce and dauphinoise potatoes and summer fruits clafoutis with double cream.
Lesley Waters said: “As always with this competition I’m amazed at the professionalism of the dishes the students come up with in such a short of space of time. The level of cooking just goes from strength-to-strength and I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about some of these students in our restaurants in the future.”
The final of the Junior Cook of the Year competition will be in the Food Festival marquee behind the Regent Centre on the morning of 12 May when all three semi-finalists will have to cook their dishes in front of an audience. All welcome.