Youngsters cooking on gas in contest - with pictures

Two aspiring chefs will represent the region in the next stage of a cooking competition.

Isabelle Smith, 12, and Joseph Little, 17, were crowned joint winners of the Rotary District Young Chef final at Shrewsbury College on Monday night.

They will now go forward to compete in the regional final next month in Rugby.

Each of the 10 competitors in the regional final had to plan and prepare, cook and serve, a healthy two-course meal including a main course and a dessert costing no more than £10 in total for the ingredients.

The idea of the competition, which is open to young people aged 12 to 17, helps them to demonstrate their culinary skills in the two course meal for two people.

The competitors came from Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Ironbridge, Wellington, Brownhills, Brewood, Leek and Dudley.

Joseph, of New College Telford, was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Wellington.

He said he was delighted to make progress in the contest.

He said: “I am looking forward to yet another opportunity to display my culinary skills in this prestigious Rotary competition.”

The competition covered the Rotary district which includes Staffordshire, Shropshire and parts of the West Midlands

Isabelle, from Leek, said she had been helping her mum and gran in the kitchen since she was two.

For the final she cooked chicken breast with tomatoes and motrevolo and basil followed by chocolate tart with mascarpone and raspberry coulis.

The judges were Andrew Birch, head chef at Fishmore Hall Hotel, Ludlow; Wendy Barnard, member of Brewood & District Inner Wheel, and Tony Robinson, member of Ludlow Rotary Club and young chef co-ordinator for the district.

Rotarian John Sayer, district governor for Shropshire, Staffordshire and parts of the West Midlands, who presented the certificates and £50 cash to the joint winners, said: “I congratulate all the competitors.

“The standard was very high and I am looking forward to supporting Isabelle and Joseph in the regional final.”

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