Princethorpe College school heat winners, Year 8, Rosie Reeve, and Year 7, Francesca Kelly, took part in the Springboard Futurechef Local Finals on Monday 13 January. The competition was hosted by Caludon Castle School in Coventry and saw ten school heat qualifiers battling for a place in the Midlands Regional Final which will take place on Monday 10 February at Coventry College.
The competitors were challenged to cook a two-course meal, a main and a dessert, for two people in 90 minutes for a budget of up to £7, under the scrutiny of two professional chefs who were the judges for the competition.
Rosie’s menu featured a main course of her own home-reared lamb in a redcurrant and red wine jus served with fondant potatoes, accompanied by a rich chocolate tartlet with vanilla cream quenelle and sesame crisp. Whilst Francesca chose a menu of salmon and dill fish cakes with pea puree followed by a dessert of shortcake stack with raspberry and vanilla cream.
Both girls were nervous but had put a lot of effort into practising to prepare for the competition. They produced beautiful dishes against strong competition from their fellow finalists including older pupils from Year 10. As a Year 7, Francesca was by far the youngest competitor taking part.
The organisers of the competition, Springboard, provide opportunities for young people aged 12-16 to explore food and develop their culinary skills. Each year over 8,000 young chefs take part in their national competition.
Announcing the winners, the judges commented that they were impressed with the talent shown throughout the morning. They praised the contestants for the high standard of the dishes produced and agreed that the competitors had displayed good technique and execution.
Princethorpe’s Rosie cooked up a storm and was judged the overall winner. She will now go forward to represent Coventry and Warwickshire at the Regional Final in Coventry next month. Rosie was delighted to be presented with a certificate and a cookbook.
Rosie said, “The standard of the other competitors was amazing. I was so pleased to be given the opportunity to take part and never expected to win”.
Princethorpe’s Food and Nutrition Teacher, Jacqui Scott, commented, “I was extremely proud of both of our Princethorpe competitors who put a lot of time and effort into menu planning and practising. The food they produced was of the highest standard and was beautifully presented. Both meals could have been served at a restaurant table. They were calm and collected throughout the tense 90 minutes and the professional chefs gave very positive feedback saying it was a very difficult decision. It was such a great experience for our pupils and I am really delighted that we won the Local Final and that one of our Year 8 pupils has taken the title for the second year running.”