YOUNG chefs got the chance to show off their culinary skills in front of a master chef.
Seven pupils from Hayling College and Warblington School took part in the Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition at the weekend.
Organisers were stunned by their expertise and they also wowed judge James Parsons, the head chef of the Langstone Hotel and former chef to the royal household.
The competition, held at Warblington School in Southleigh Road, Havant, saw youngsters aged 12 to 16 battle it out in the kitchen.
But 14-year-old Emily Frost was triumphant with a delicious fish mornay dish, followed by a creamy ginger and citrus cheesecake.
Rotarian Elizabeth Walters organised the event.
She said: ‘It was fantastic. We were so impressed with all the entrants. They were incredibly talented considering they were so young.
‘I have to thank James Parsons, who was wonderful.
‘He helped them all so much.
‘He was actually teaching them the best way to stir at the same time as judging them.
‘He is a very modest man who keeps his background quiet, even though he was a chef to the Queen Mother.’
The runner-up in the competition was 13-year-old Mollie Gedden from Hayling College.
She put together a sumptuous meal of chicken chasseur followed by chocolate mousse. Both will now go on to the district round of the Young Chef of the Year competition in Bournemouth next March. Emily won a first prize of a Kenwood mixer.
The competition takes place each year and is divided into rounds based on which district the schools fall into.
It was set up to encourage cooking amongst young people and it is hoped the event will be well supported by schools across the country.
Go to ribi.org