by Hayley Robinson
Move over Nigella Lawson – there’s a new chef on the block.
Highsted Grammar School pupil Eden Allsworth was crowned the senior winner of this year’s Kent Young Chef competition.
The 14-year-old was one of four students aged between 14 and 15 from Kent schools to make it through to a two-hour cook-off at The View Restaurant on the top floor of K College, Tonbridge, last Friday.
Eden was awarded the title after she impressed the judges with her duo of pan-roasted belly of pork and line-caught sea bass with apple wood-smoked mash and a medley of autumn vegetables.
She said: “I’m completely overwhelmed. It’s just incredible.
“Just taking part in the final is an amazing experience and then to be picked as the winner is indescribable.
“I have a passion for cooking and this is a wonderful step to working in a professional kitchen one day.”
Four others, aged between 11 and 13, also battled it out for the chance to win the junior title.
Among those marking the contestants’ dishes was celebrity chef and Kent restaurateur Richard Phillips.
Benjamin Colley, 12, who attends The Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells, clinched the junior title with his fallow deer wellington.
The junior runners-up were: Connie Dayman, of Combe Bank School, Sevenoaks; Amy Monk, of Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone; and James Thorne, of Ashford School, Ashford.
The senior runners up were: Charlotte O’Connor, of The Knole Academy, Sevenoaks; Christopher Smith, of Harbour School, Dover; and Jordan Winter, from the Weald of Kent Grammar School, Tonbridge.
As well as the winners’ trophies, hampers and certificates, all the finalists were treated to a buffet lunch after the cook-off.
All eight finalists will also be treated to lunch at one of Richard Phillips’ restaurants, while the two winners will devise the menu for the Kent Young Chef Award Charity Dinner in aid of The Heart of Kent Hospice.
It will be held on Thursday, January 24, at The Windmill in Hollingbourne.
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