Inverness Culloden Rotary Club ran a Secondary School Masterchef Competition which was sponsored by Williamson Food Service. The competition was held over 4 rounds between August and November this year, and included competitors from Secondary Schools in Inverness and Dingwall. Round 1 was an elimination round with 3 heats where the pupils cooked a two-course meal for two chefs from Inverness restaurants. One winner from each heat went forward into the semi-final. Round 2 was held in Michael’s Culinary School where the runners-up from the Round 1 heats cooked off to gain a place in the semi-final.
Round 3, the semi-final, was held in 4 top Inverness restaurants and is primarily aimed at giving the pupils experience of a day in a busy city restaurant. The pupils spent a day in the restaurant under the guidance of the chef. In the evening the pupils cooked a two-course meal for a judge who was a chef from an Inverness restaurant. All pupils went forward into the final round.
Round 4, the final, was held in the UHI building in front of an audience of over 80 members of the public and invited guests. The audience were also given a talk on “Cuts of Meat” by James Dyce from Hastie and Dyce, butchers in Inverness.
The 4 Finalists cooked a three-course menu for world renowned chefs Lady Claire MacDonald and Michael Smith. The Chefs gave constructive criticism to the audience as they tasted each dish before deciding on the winner. Thea Still, from Inverness Royal Academy won the competition and the 3 runners-up were Ella Cormack from Dingwall Academy, Peter Forbes from Charleston Academy and Samuel Houston from Inverness Royal Academy. The winner received a splendid trophy, as did the runners-up, and all contestants received a certificate.
In addition to the main sponsors (Williamson Food Service) who funded the competition, Highland Wholefoods sponsored a Competition Trophy which was given to the winner’s school.
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