TWO teenagers wowed judges with their cooking skills to take first place in a competition.
Pals Scott Newell and Ryan Bloxsom were crowned champions in the 2016 Create and Cook regional event after making home-made goat sausages with goat’s cheese and thyme Yorkshire puddings.
We’ve practiced our menu every Monday evening since we found out we were in the regional finalScott Newell
The pair, who attend Bay House School in Gosport, finished the meal with liquorice panna cotta with shortbread biscuits – all using locally-sourced ingredients.
Scott, 13, said: ‘It felt amazing to have won. We were extremely shocked as I didn’t think we could win.
‘We’ve practiced our menu every Monday evening since we found out we were in the regional final. Sometimes we were cooking until eight or nine at night.
‘It just shows that if you work really hard and are determined, it does pay off.’
Scott and Ryan took on other young chefs from Sussex, Brighton and the Isle of Wight for the contest which was held at Newlyns Cookery School, near Hook.
Ryan, also 13, added: ‘We did a lot of research into our ingredients to make sure they were all local.
‘We visited our local butcher, Neil Griffiths, who taught us how to make sausages and where all the meat comes from. We went to the vegetable shop All Seasons where the owner spoke to us about the importance of buying local fruit and vegetables.’
The competition, which is run by fit2cook food education and sponsored by the Southern Co-operative, encourages students aged between 12 and 14 to create and cook a two-course menu.
Kate Hibbert, local sourcing manager for the Southern Co-operative, said: ‘The standard and quality of the food produced by this year’s finalists was simple outstanding.
‘Scott and Ryan’s menu was completely inspired by locally-sourced ingredients and they went out of their way to learn the details of the origin for each ingredient they used.
‘They both approached the challenge with an air of calm and were cool under pressure taking time to talk to all of the judges as we walked the kitchen.
‘Their dedication and cookery skills really shone through in the final.’
The competition was judged by Kate, Ben Cooke the chef and owner of The Little Gloster on the Isle of Wight, Steve Edwards the chef and owner of Etch food in Sussex and Andy Mackenzie the co-founder of the Create and Cook competition who runs the Exclusive Chefs’ Academy.