Girls between the ages of 11 and 17 competed to create a main course and dessert to wow the judges in an hour and a half. Evelyn Robertson, Year 8, won the heat, 2nd place went to Rebecca Winn, Year 12, and 3rd place was awarded to Lucia Harrison, Year 7.
The competition offers talented young chefs the opportunity to develop their culinary skills and prove themselves in a high pressure environment to industry experts.
The panel included Andy Appleton, head chef at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, Fifteen’s Educational Organiser Haley Sugden and freelance chef Dan Cowell. It took much discussion between them before they decided on the winner.
Andy Appleton said: “It was an absolute pleasure to judge this competition. I’m really impressed with the standard of food on show here today, it was above and beyond my expectations. The quality of food and presentation from the girls was virtually restaurant quality. They should all be incredibly proud.”
Dan Cowell said: “The range of dishes which have been created under such a strict time limit and immense pressure is astonishing. Congratulations aren’t just in order for the winners but every girl who competed, the standard was very high.”
Evelyn’s winning menu consisted of a cheese soufflé with tomato passata and a side of mixed leaves. For dessert she made pears poached in ginger wine with spices and dark chocolate.
Members and friends of the Rotary Club kindly aided with the washing up.
Evelyn said: “I can’t believe it, I’m so excited to have won. My auntie inspired me to cook the menu as both of the dishes are takes on her recipes. It’s been quite a stressful morning as we had a very short time to create so much, but I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved.”
Evelyn’s aunt, Blanche Vaughan is a food writer and chef. She has published several cookbooks including In One Pot (2013) and Egg (2015).
Head of Food and Nutrition, Mrs Lisa van der Lem said: “The girls really challenged themselves and the standard was phenomenal. The skill level is brilliant and their enthusiasm is absolutely inspiring; some of the judges said that the flavours the girls had used have given them new ideas for their menus.”
In addition to progressing to the district round of the competition, Evelyn has been offered the opportunity to spend a day shadowing the chefs at Fifteen.