Young Havant chefs serve up a treat for judges

Panel judge Jon Scourfield, the head chef at Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth, with winner Izabella Darmanin Picture Ian Hargreaves (151852-4)
Panel judge Jon Scourfield, the head chef at Brookfield Hotel in Emsworth, with winner Izabella Darmanin Picture Ian Hargreaves (151852-4)
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THE winner of the second heat of a catering competition has been announced.

Izabella Darmanin, 14, of Park Community School, Leigh Park, wowed judges with her delicious meal in the Havant Rotary Young Chef of the Year competition.

Izabella got through to the final round after beating some difficult competition from pupils from schools across the Havant area.

The competition is designed to challenge future chefs and caterers and is part of a national Rotary competition which has inspired teenagers to take their creative skills into the professional kitchen.

Nine contestants prepared their dishes with an emphasis on healthy eating, with competitors expected to show a mastery of a range of techniques, flavours and skill in presenting the two courses.

The winner was Year 9 pupil Izabella.

Her menu of a dopiaza curry followed by a strawberry cheesecake, wowed judges – chefs Jon Scourfield, from the Brookfield Hotel, and the Langstone Hotel’s Jamie Holmes.

‘All of the competitors were absolutely exceptional,’ said Peter Poulton from Havant Rotary Club.

‘They were brilliant in all aspects – from menu planning to managing budgets. Everyone did extremely well and it was hard to judge. The next stage is when it really gets difficult.’

The judges were also impressed by runners-up Lauren Kates from Petersfield School and Dominic Thompson from Hayling College.

Lauren cooked sea bass and pasta with a chocolate and raspberry mousse, while Dominic made pesto-stuffed chicken wrapped in pancetta served on a bed of potatoes and fennel, followed by tiramisu.

Izabella will now join winners from other areas for the overall final on Saturday at South Downs College where they will each create a more challenging three-course meal.