Rotary Young Chef

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Rotary International Young Chef of the Year

 On  19th October, Warwick School hosted the local round of the Young Chef of the Year for 2016/17 organised by Rotary International.

This local round was held at Warwick School, run by Rita Beniparshad and hosted by Nick Fieldhouse of Redhill Redstone Rotary Club.

In all 14 young chefs went head to head and with a budget of £12 maximum offered two courses of food of their choosing and showed levels of skill that would put many adults to shame. All were overseen, questioned and judged by well-known and respected chef Simon Ibbotson from Redhill & Reigate Golf Club who has many years’ experience at the highest level.

As time went by and in the middle of preparation and cooking each participant was watched and questioned by Simon who used his experience to question and assess, skill in preparation and cooking, cleanliness and attention to hygiene as well as the menu and the presentation of the plated food.

As each participant finished cooking and plated their food Simon was happy to taste every dish and was often heard commenting how “good the finished plate looked and how much he enjoyed the taste” it made the rest of us quite envious. It was then a case of the young chefs waiting for Simon’s results.

Menus were wide and varied but the winner was Lauren Gooch who offered a starter of Mackerel Pate with Toasted Ciabatta; a main course of Butternut Squash Medallions with carrot and courgette nests and a dessert of Raspberry delight. Simon felt Lauren had demonstrated a wide degree of culinary skill and in terms of presentation and the all-important taste she was a clear winner.

Runner up was Kimberley Spurdle who presented a starter of “flu fighter” soup; a main of Gammon & Leak Pie made with rough puff pastry and served with boiled asparagus and finally a desert of Apple & Blackberry Crumble served with Vanilla custard. Again Simon commented on the high standard of skill, presentation and taste.

Simon was very much impressed with all the young chefs’ efforts and complimented them all on the presentation and taste of their food.

The winner Lauren will represent Warwick School and the local area in the next round of the competition. We wish her well and look forward to seeing her next menu.

Nick Fieldhouse on behalf of Redhill Redstone Rotary Club presented all participants with a certificate of merit and the winner and runner up received cook books (no names or authors) to help them discover new recipes. All other participants also received a “cook book” to help develop their interest in cooking and to inspire new menus.

Rita Beniparshad Head of Catering Department at Warwick school helped with the presentations and made a point of thanking the parents for the encouragement they gave their children and in many cases being the original “Guinea pigs” for the various menus.    

Nick closed the evening by thanking all the young chefs, our judge Simon for giving up a lot of his time and in particular Rita Beniparshad of Warwick School for organising such a successful and entertaining evening

 Finally, our best wishes and good luck to Lauren in the next round