Young ‘master chefs’ battle it out in final

President of the Rotary Club of Sleaford Stephen Bath with the five finalists and their teachers. Pictured, from left - Julie Pankhurst (KSHSSA), Molly Hatcher, Stephen Bath, Jess Brown, Emily Dunham, Ashleigh Marks, Josephine Hannon and Ms Claire Adams (St George's, Ruskington). Photo: Jim Duckett
President of the Rotary Club of Sleaford Stephen Bath with the five finalists and their teachers. Pictured, from left - Julie Pankhurst (KSHSSA), Molly Hatcher, Stephen Bath, Jess Brown, Emily Dunham, Ashleigh Marks, Josephine Hannon and Ms Claire Adams (St George's, Ruskington). Photo: Jim Duckett

The final of the Rotary Club of Sleaford’s annual Young Chef Competition was held at the food technology kitchens of Kesteven and Sleaford High School last week.

On Saturday January 10, five girl ‘Masterchefs’ from the High School and St George’s Academy, Ruskington, proved that cooking couldn’t get tougher having previously won their school heats in November and December.

They then fought it out again to show who had the culinary skills to represent their school at the Rotary District final at the Hinchingbrooke School, Huntingdon, to take place on January 31.

The final contestants were Molly Hatcher, Jess Brown, Emily Dunham, Ashleigh Marks and Josephine Hannon.

Normally there would be six in the final, but Richard Lee from St George’s Academy fell ill earlier in the week.

Each young chef had just 90 minutes to prepare a healthy, economical two-course meal - main course and dessert - for two people with a budget of less than £10, and once again, according to Sleaford Rotarian Norry Bell, the quality of the meals prepared at the final was first class.

Taking the place of Greg Wallace and John Terrode, the judges were Eddie Jenkins of Bites to Banquets, a co-founder of the Sleaford Town Team, Rotarians Shelagh McIntyre (a retired professional chef) and Norry Bell, chairman of the Youth Services Committee. They admitted having a difficult time choosing a worthy winner. In the end, they unanimously picked Molly Hatcher of St George’s Academy who triumphed with her meal of chicken breast stuffed with herb cream cheese, wrapped in Serrano ham, followed by an equally mouth-watering chocolate orange panetonne bread and butter pudding flan.

President Stephen Bath complimented all of the participants on the quality of their food and thanked their teachers, Julie Pankhurst from the High School, and Claire Adams from St George’s, for their enthusiasm and continued support.

He then presented all of the competitors with a certificate and a silver cup, with Molly also receiving the Inter-Schools Young Chef of the Year Shield.