Mary Berry eat your heart out! Brilliant Poppy wins young Chef contest

By Jill Dando News

Budding chef Poppy MacKay has proven her top Mary Berry cooking skills by winning the latest round of the Rotary Club’s Young Chef of the Year competition.

Poppy competed against six other young chefs in the district final of the prestigious competition, hosted at King Alfred School Academy in Highbridge, Somerset.

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The youngsters were set the challenge of preparing and cooking a three-course meal in two hours on a restricted budget.

The two judges – Max Coles, Head Chef at Sanders Garden Centre, and Peter Goodship, Chef Lecturer & Apprentice Trainer at Weston College – praised the young chefs for the “exceptionally high” quality of their finished meals and the variety, pictured here.

All competitors were presented with Certificates and Cookery books. The runner-up was Katrina Nightingale from Wiveliscombe. Both Poppy and her will progress to the South Wales and South West Final at Cardiff in March.

Both judges were impressed with the high standard of cooking and presentation and the professional attitude of the competitors. They said that spending time with the youngsters had been “inspiring” and they could see a future for them all in the hospitality industry.

Jane Gibbs from the Rotary Club of Burnham-On-Sea, who helped organise the event with TKASA staff, told “The competition was a big success and it was lovely to see so many entrants from across the Rotary 1200 District.”

“A big thank you to all the staff at the school, especially to Natasha King and Kim King for their hard work in getting the competition area ready and their support throughout the competition, and also to all the families for their support and encouragement as well as the competitors.”

Stuart Gilbert, Rotary District Governor, who presented the competitors with their prizes, adds: “On behalf of the Rotary District 1200, may I express the warmest of thanks to the many people whose support has helped make this competition possible plus the Governors, Principal and staff of The King Alfred School Academy for their help and support in hosting the competition, and the judges for giving their time and expertise and the teaching staff of the colleges and schools represented.”


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