Budding chef Kate is the country’s hottest talent

TALENTED Cookery student Kate Edwards, 18, from Cowplain who has won the Tabasco sauce Student UK Street Food Challenge 2012 cookery competition. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (123900-1)
TALENTED Cookery student Kate Edwards, 18, from Cowplain who has won the Tabasco sauce Student UK Street Food Challenge 2012 cookery competition. 'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (123900-1)
Driftwood Festival organiser Paul Cobb  Picture: Malcolm Wells (142242-6774C)

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SOME like it hot – and it’s a good job that budding chef Kate Edwards does!

The 18-year-old has won enough fiery hot Tabasco sauce to last a lifetime of chilli con carnes.

Kate, who is a cookery student at South Downs College in Waterlooville, won a prestigious competition aimed at the finding the ‘hottest’ young chef in the UK.

As well as winning a trip to the home of Tabasco – Avery Island in Lafayette, Louisiana – Kate won a gallon of the sizzling sauce.

Kate, of Silvester Road, Cowplain, laughed: ‘I could not believe it. I though they were messing around!

‘They asked me to hold it and I felt so weak.

‘I am not going to take it home with me. It’s too much!

‘It’s better for other people at the college to use than just me.’

The cooking competition was held at the University of West London and organised by the company Tabasco and the Craft Guild of Chefs.

The 10 finalists were from colleges and universities across the country.

Students had to create an original dish using the famous sauce that was inspired by some of the world’s most popular cuisines, such as Latin American, Asian, and Indian.

Kate had to cook her dish in 90 minutes before a team of discerning judges.

To her shock and delight, Kate was named the winner with her smoked chipotle and oyster sauce marinated pork fillet with sweet potato mash served in a recyclable brown takeaway box.

Kate, a Level 3 Professional Cookery student, said: ‘I feel privileged. I am still Kate the chef though. I am just me and I will keep on working hard.

‘I am really looking forward to the trip to Louisiana.

‘I will have to start thinking of creative ways to use the Tabasco sauce! I am sure that my lecturer Iain Baille will have some good ideas.’

Luckily, Kate enjoys hot food and added: ‘A lot of people think of hot food as being just spicy, but it’s more flavourful.’

Kate said she was determined to work her way up and become a head chef at a top restaurant.

She originally set out to become a pilot, but changed her mind after seeing the kitchens buzzing with creativity at South Downs College.

‘The moment I walked into the kitchen it just felt right,’ she said.

‘It’s the best decision I ever made.’