Young Chef 2015

This year's Young Chef competition attracted entrants from both Billericay and Mayflower senior Schools and took place on November 11, 2015 at Billericay School. Cooking was to an extremely high standard again this year.

Cooking up a delight!

Rotary Club of Billericay's heat of this year’s competition was held at the Billericay School on the morning of Wednesday 11th November, and was arranged by our Youth Services Chairman, James Ilesley, with the assistance of Niki Mutsure from the host (Billericay) school and Jo Hardy from Mayflower High School. 

James arrived at Billericay school at 9 o'clock and found our two judges, Leo Smith and Mario Pozzi,, already there, ready for the fray.

They all moved to E Block where the competition was to be held.  Billericay School did us proud, as we had two rooms set aside just for the competition.  The first was the food nutrition classroom to where the students brought their table mats, cutlery, glasses, and flowers and decoration.  James’s daughter, Heather Ilesley, had kindly made place names for each student, to clearly identify whose food belonged to whom!  The second was the main kitchen where there were four large stainless steel tables with the appropriate cooking equipment and utensils set out ready for the students.

Billericay School had already set their tables out and left three further tables for the Mayflower students.   They even provided coffee, tea and biscuits to the judges and James while they waited for the Mayflower students to arrive.  This gave enough time for the judges to be briefed on the judging process, which used a standard template with marks awarded for costing, planning, healthiness of the dishes, presentation, range of skills used, and most important of all, the taste of each of the three courses.

Cooking started at 10:10.  The atmosphere was really great – it was just like Professional Masterchef.

As the students completed each course, they were carried into the other room by Lillie, another student who acted as waitress on the day, and did so in a very professional way.  Thanks Lillie!  She placed each student’s food on their own labelled place settings, first the starters, then later the mains and finally the desserts as they were completed.  James spent his time moving between the two rooms, checking the judging was going okay, and that no student was panicking that they keep falling behind.  (There was just a few exclamations of “Oh No!”. But even those were down to nerves, not to the cooking ability.)  All the students were given a 60 minute, 30 minute and a 15 minute warning to help them keep to time!

The competition finished at 12:20 – all work had stopped at 11 o'clock on the dot for the two minute silence – and it was time for judging!

The judges were highly impressed with the standard of dishes provided by the four contestants from the host school and the three contestants from Mayflower High School.  Much tasting, contemplation, more tasting, much discussion, and, finally the prize winners were selected.

Rotary Club of Billericay President, Ed  Harrison was there to announce the results.  First the winner, then second place and finally third place.  Ed presented Charlotte Tyler from The Billericay School with a certificate for first prize, and cheque for £50.  He also presented certificates for second and third prize to Emily Hughes and Georgia Rew respectively, both also from the Billericay school, and certificates of merit were given to Bronte Wasmuth, Amy Lorenz, Eleanor Bayliss and Emilia Banham.  Unbar Rothon had donated a prize package of spices for each contestant, and James presented these to each of them, and to Lilliey (the waitress during the event). Charlotte will be invited to attend a Club Lunch in due course.

The next step is the District Final which will take place on March 5, 2016 at Chelmsford College.  If successful there, Charlotte will go through to the Regional Final which will be on April 9, 2016 at Harlow College.

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