On Friday 26th January, Bournemouth & Poole College hosted the preliminary heat of the Rotary Young Chef competition. 11 participants from schools including The Grange, Oak Academy, Lytchett Minster School, Bournemouth School for Girls, Talbot Heath, Bishop of Winchester Academy and The Bourne Academy battled it out Masterchef-style. Competitors had to cook a three-course meal for two people within a budget of £15 - and in just two hours of cooking time!
The event for 11 to 17-year-olds was held at The College’s Escoffier Restaurant. The fine dining restaurant has been awarded an AA Rosette, and gave the participants a taste of working in a professional kitchen.
The first runner-up was Megan Skirth, 15, from The Grange School who won a £30 Amazon gift card. Second runner-up went to Ellie Browne, 14 from Bournemouth School for Girls who won a £20 Amazon gift card. The deserving winner was Kian Johnson, 15, of Oak Academy. He won a £40 Amazon gift card and the opportunity to shadow chefs at AFC Bournemouth’s first team pavilion kitchen. For his winning menu, Kian cooked a starter of tuna with pistachio crust, rocket salad and lemon jus; his main was a locally-sourced cod butty on a bed of minted pea puree and chunky tartar sauce; and for dessert, he made a white chocolate and vanilla parfait, accompanied with Italian meringue and a raspberry coulis.
Megan and Kian are now eligible to compete in the next stage of the competition – District Young Chef, which will be held at South Downs College in Waterlooville on Saturday 3rd March 2018. The winner and runner-up from this event will go on to the Regional Young Chef competition ahead of the National final.
The college is happy to support the Rotary Young Chef competition, and to help nurture new talent. Who knows – perhaps some of these talented young chefs will choose to do an Apprenticeship as a Commis Chef or Chef de Partie at The College. Whatever route they choose, their future is bright!