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Rotary Young Chef Success

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On 7th December 2016 the annual Rotary Young Chef competition took place for the tenth year at Ormiston Rivers Academy. Year 11 students: Max Willsher, Emily Symons, Faye Pringle, Riley Pond, Lewis Leer, Rosie Braisted and Ella Wicks cooked with spectacular professionalism, demonstrating complex skills to create their culinary delights.

The competition is organised by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland; local heats take place from September to December, with the winner of each heat being entered into a district final. It aims to encourage young people to cook healthy meals, develop organisation, planning and presentation skills, consider food hygiene issues, and be able to work in a challenging situation. The brief is for competitors to create a healthy two course meal for two people, consisting of a main meal and a dessert, for under £15 in just two hours.

Students developed their own menus and practised at school and home to perfect their choices and cooking skills. Guest judges from Burnham Rotary along with Dan Hull of Hull Prepared Foods, Trevor Howell of the Oyster Smack Inn and Anita Smith found the competition to be a close call.

Third place was awarded to Riley Pond who created a delicious chicken and vegetable pie in home-made short-crust pastry, served with creamy mash and carrots followed with a dessert of individual Victoria sponge cake with raspberry jam and whipped cream, served with fresh raspberries.

Second place was awarded to Max Willsher for his menu of peppered pork fillet served on a bed of seasonal roasted vegetables with slowly cooked sweet red pepper and an onion and mustard gravy followed by a dessert of orange cheesecake with an orange and vanilla syrup.

The winning menu for the Burnham heat of Rotary Young Chef 2016 was awarded to Emily Symons who created a scrumptious main of pork tenderloin, using locally sourced pork, pan fried in Dengie apple cider served with a sweet onion cider gravy, kale with buckwheat and bacon and sweet seasonal English carrots followed by a dessert of deconstructed apple crumble tart.

Food Technology Teachers, Miss Kaya Emmerson and Miss Eloise Williamson said: “Despite the high competition from all students, Emily’s cleverly devised menu consisting of local, fresh seasonal produce gave her dishes the leading score. Emily will now be invited to the regional competition; we wish her the best of luck with the next stage!”

The Academy would like to thank Burnham Rotary, Dan Hull, Trevor Howell and Anita Smith for their support and contributions to judging on the evening. Many congratulations to the competitors for their hard work, creativity and sheer determination; we are so very proud of you all.