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Young Cooks champ stars at food festival

By Liz Nicholls

Reigning Young Cooks champion Charlotte Fife enjoyed a starring role at the Tonbridge Food Festival over the half-term break.

2017 Young Cooks Champion Charlotte Fife took the spotlight at the Tonbridge Food Festival (2483892)
2017 Young Cooks Champion Charlotte Fife took the spotlight at the Tonbridge Food Festival (2483892)

The festival took place at Tonbridge Castle on the weekend of May 26 to 27, and the Invicta Grammar School pupil offered a glimpse of what could be in store for this year’s Young Cooks contestants.

Charlotte, who lives in Loose near Maidstone, took to the stage to demonstrate her cookery skills with Matthew Kearsey-Lawson of Kent Fine Foods and Alive with Flavour founder Jo Banks.

Next month, the 15-year-old Year 10 pupil is due to appear with Kent Produce at the Kent County Show in Detling.

Her mum, Wendy Fife, said: “Charlotte had a wonderful time demonstrating at the Tonbridge Food Festival on Sunday - a practice for the Kent County Show in July.

“Matthew Kearsey-Lawson was keen to talk to her about Young Cooks, and Jo Banks, who goes around to a lot of primary schools to get children cooking, said she was very keen for Charlotte to join her to promote the competition.”

The entry process for the 2018 Young Cooks contest is now open. There are cash prizes for primary school, secondary, family, and overall champion, with a £200 top prize going to the overall winner.

Young people aged six to 19 can enter the MasterChef-style event. They are invited to submit ideas for dishes that are healthy and delicious and which showcase their cooking skills.

The finalists will be invited to cook their dish for a VIP panel at the live final, which this year will be held at East Kent College.

Matthew Kearsey-Lawson of Kent Fine Foods, Alive with Flavour founder Jo Banks and Young Cooks 2017 Champion Charlotte Fife at the Tonbridge Food Festival (2483890)
Matthew Kearsey-Lawson of Kent Fine Foods, Alive with Flavour founder Jo Banks and Young Cooks 2017 Champion Charlotte Fife at the Tonbridge Food Festival (2483890)

The panel of judges will include representatives from NFU Mutual, SE Medical, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit, Benenden Hospital Trust, Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School, Licensing Consultancy Services, The Southern Co-operative, Whole School Meals, Brakes, East Kent College, and Macknade Fine Foods.

Young Cooks aims to develop the confidence and abilities of young people to prepare meals to a fixed budget, as well as to increase awareness of healthy options and locally grown Kentish produce.

Find out more about the competition and how to enter at www.youngcooks.org.uk

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