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Record breaking Young Cooks

By Liz Nicholls

Eighteen youngsters took on the MasterChef-style final of Young Cooks on Thursday (November 29) with an eight year-old from New Romney clinching the title – and setting a new record.

Front row (from left) Young Cooks 2018 winners Brooke Keen, Boglar Bote-Godri, Amelia Phillips, and Amelia Page with judges and supporters of the contest.
Front row (from left) Young Cooks 2018 winners Brooke Keen, Boglar Bote-Godri, Amelia Phillips, and Amelia Page with judges and supporters of the contest.

Boglar Bote-Godri became the first primary school finalist in the history of the contest to be crowned overall winner and take the champion’s trophy. She also received £200 in prize money.

Her winning dish was sea bass with sautéed smoked bacon, chicory, dwarf beans, celeriac and red wine sauce.

The champion’s prize includes presiding over a Young Cooks 2018 VIP luncheon in the New Year at The Dog at Wingham – where Boglar will serve her menu for a group of some 25 dignitaries.

The pupil, from St Nicholas Primary Academy, is used to success having won the family category with her father Bence at last year’s contest.

Young Cooks was organised by the KM Charity Team and open to youngsters aged between six and 19 years. Entrants created one or two dishes, depending on competition category, and submitted their recipes and food photographs to the Young Cooks website.

The top 18 were invited to an exciting final using the professional catering facilities at East Kent College in Broadstairs to compete for the title of Young Cook 2018.

Category winners included Amelia Page, 14, from Invicta Grammar in Maidstone, who took the secondary school prize with her creamy ravioli in seafood sauce followed by Kentish apple sorbet, blackberry purée and crumble. She was awarded £150.

She also automatically won a place in regional competition Rotary Young Chef – where she’ll take on five other youngsters making a bid for the national grand final.

The primary school winner was Amelia Phillips, 10, from Bredgar CofE in Sittingbourne who received £50 for her pan-roasted free-range chicken breast, baby leeks, parsnip purée, beetroot and balsamic dressing.

Ten year-old Brooke Keen from Hernhill CofE primary school, in Faversham, and her father Ray scooped £100 for clinching the family category title. They made skate wing, brown butter, capers and new potatoes plus a dessert of homemade ginger beer tarte tatin with homemade ginger beer.

Overall Young Cooks 2018 champ Boglar Bote-Godri with category winners Amelia Phillips, Amelia Page, and Brooke Keen.
Overall Young Cooks 2018 champ Boglar Bote-Godri with category winners Amelia Phillips, Amelia Page, and Brooke Keen.

Each finalist received a cornucopia of cookery goodies to take home including hardback cookbook donated by Octopus publishing; apron, cookie cutters, icing kit, sieve and baking equipment from Copperfields of Whitstable; cookery workshop voucher for Chequers Kitchen; cookie cutters from Whole School Meals; and Thermapen thermometer.

Other gifts included water bottle and notepad from Golding Vision; sweets and other goodies from Three R’s Teacher Recruitment; 50% discount for a healthy cooking kit for kids donated by Little Cooks Co; voucher for two-course meal for two at The Dog at Wingham; and goody bags and discount vouchers for Macknade Fine Foods.

Maxine Tarquini, event organiser for Young Cooks, said: “This has been a fantastic year for exceptional entries with our biggest number of finalists to date – we even ended up with a whole kitchen just for our primary school cooks!

“Many congratulations to all of our winners and finalists. They produced delicious meals beautifully presented and blew our judges away with their professionalism and skill.”

Judging the entries were representatives from Southern Co-op, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whole School Meals, Macknade Fine Foods, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School, Licensing Consultancy Services, Brakes, and Kent Catering Service.

Entry will be open soon for Young Cooks 2019 at www.YoungCooks.org.uk

Businesses interested in supporting the contest and joining the judging panel should contact Maxine at mtarquini@thekmgroup.co.uk or on 0844 264 0291.

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