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KM Kent Cooks 2015 winners announced after tense live competition final staged at East Kent College, Broadstairs

By Liz Nicholls

There were no kitchen nightmares for the five young cooks who scooped big prizes at the KM Kent Cooks 2015 competition final.

Finalists, winners and supporters of the 2015 KM Kent Cooks contest.
Finalists, winners and supporters of the 2015 KM Kent Cooks contest.

Top chef was Isabella Lee, 15, of Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone who was crowned overall winner of the annual cookery contest for schools. The cooking powerhouse made a tasty simmered duck with seasonal vegetables followed by sticky toffee pudding.

Isabella’s was among 180 entries received by the competition from youngsters across Kent aged six to 19 years. They each created their own unique menu and submitted cooking instructions and photographs of their completed dishes in a bid for a place in the final.

The 13 best entries were invited to a live Masterchef-style cook-off at East Kent College, Broadstairs last week to see which cooks cut the mustard.

Tom Eden, nine, and his younger brother Jonny, seven, of Sevenoaks Primary School took first place in the competition’s Family category. The dynamic duo impressed the judges with their ability to work together as a team and their menu of ‘Moreish Meatloaf and Mash’ and hearty pudding of autumn Kent apple crumble.

The Primary School winner was Sofia Bishop, nine, from Culverstone Green Primary, Gravesham with her delicious ‘Kentish Keema Curry’. Another Gravesham student, Aaron Waller, 13, of St John’s Catholic Comprehensive School, clinched the Secondary School category with his signature dish ‘Forest of Kent’, including pheasant and chicken liver pate with diced bacon and vegetables, followed by an apricot bake.

Kent Cooks 2015 winners Aaron Waller, 13, Isabella Lee, 15, Sofia Bishop, nine, and Tom Eden, nine and his brother Jonny, seven.
Kent Cooks 2015 winners Aaron Waller, 13, Isabella Lee, 15, Sofia Bishop, nine, and Tom Eden, nine and his brother Jonny, seven.

Fresh from their culinary endeavours the winners collected trophies, a share of £500 prize money, certificates and goody bags applauded by an audience of well wishers.

The competition was staged by the KM Charity Team with support from organisations including Brakes, Mini Babybel, Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, Paul Babra curry club, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Countrystyle Recycling, Orbit South, S.E. Medical, VooServers, Golding Vision, Kent Cookery School, JC Rook and Sons and Licensing Consultancy Services.

Event organiser Lisa Craig of the KM Charity Team said: “The judges were delighted by the effort, determination and skill of our talented finalists.”

She added: “I’m so grateful to all of our partners for making it possible for us to run the contest and create a real buzz around cooking in schools and homes across the county.”

Schools and families can find information on entering next year’s competition by visiting www.kentcooks.co.uk.

To view photographs of the event, click here.

  • Businesses interested in getting involved with the contest in 2016 can contact Simon Dolby at sdolby@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 0844 264 0291.

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