Students from Midhurst Rother College (MRC) took part in the first round of the National Rotary Young Chef competition.
Having begun with 20 entrants, seven pupils from year 9 made it through to the MRC judging round.
7 Fish Operations Director Shannon Wood was chairman of judges, Dean Brown-Fuller co-owner of Midhurst’s Olive & Vine and Callum Kier head chef at Park House Hotel in Bepton, made up the rest of the judging panel.
Students had to decide on a healthy two course menu and they were watched by the judges throughout the allotted two hours, taking notes of their planning, skills used, hygiene and presentation.
All judges took their time tasting each meal to assist them with the problem of choosing a winner. They congratulated the pupils on the way they approached the challenge and their ability to cope in a demanding situation.
Shannon Wood said that this year’s competition was certainly the highest standard of food being prepared, giving credit to Miss Bowers the food technology teacher who has worked very hard with them all.
Choosing first, second and third proved to be very difficult but eventually the judges awarded Bradley Martin third place for his battered Cod Strips with Sweet Potato Fries, home made Tartare Sauce and a glitzy Chocolate Cake.
In second place was Monty Finch with his Goats Cheese and Red Onion Tart, followed by Ginger and Chilly Salmon Fillets with Noodles and Pan Fried Vegetables.
The winner was Alyssa Stonard who cooked Shepherds Pie with Thyme, Cream and Garlic Infused Mash plus Baked Apples with Currants and Vanilla Whipped Cream.
Rotary president Hazel Morley also congratulated the students before presenting them all with a certificate to mark their participation and prizes of Lakeland and Waterstones vouchers to the first three.
Rotarian John Barrett said Alyssa and Monty now go through to the Rotary district semi final during early February 2018 and will have mentoring sessions with the judges/chefs before the next round.
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