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Hope Valley Young Chef Competition success

What's cooking in the Hope Valley?   As part of our Rotary District's annual Young Chef Competition, four aspiring young chefs from Hope Valley   College took up the challenge to cook a healthy three-course meal for two people. The venue was Hope Valley College, with the cook-off lasting two hours. The room was full of delicious aromas and it was fascinating   to witness the mature skills displayed by these young students.

                                                Hope Valley College contestants with their teacher

Clearly food technology teacher Mrs Debbie Whitehall had spent time with her students, carefully preparing them for the event. Hannah Knapp's main course of stir-fried duck really got the taste buds flowing, impressing our club's three judges with the range of flavours in her tasty meal. Japanese cuisine had inspired Jermaine Sulman, who tantalised the judges with subtle tastes of the Orient. Shannon Williams took her inspiration from sunny Greece with an ambitious Baklava dessert.

                         HVC heat winner Joe Washinton                  Hannah Knapp prepares her table


Congratulations go to Joe Washington, the overall winner, whose vegetarian menu was   beautifully presented and full of fabulous flavours. Well done to all the contestants, who each received a Sophie Grigson Cookery book for their hard work. 

Thus Joe qualified to enter our Rotary District 1220 Young Chef Competition, held at the Charnwood Academy. The two hour cook off, judged by four experienced catering industry professionals, was watched by family supporters, teachers and Rotarians on video screens in a room by the kitchens. 

The young chefs had clearly worked hard designing their inventive and exiting menus, and it was obvious that this was going to be a tough and closely fought competition. There were many complex and adventurous menu choices, requiring culinary skills which would have phased most adults.   The finished dishes were beautifully presented and would have graced the tables of any 'top restaurant'.

 After the difficult task of judging,   the contestants were asked to step forward in reverse order, to receive their prizes. Joe's name hadn't been called when we were down to two contestants. Supporters were holding their breaths for what seemed like an age before it was announced that Joe was the runner up. Joe may have been pipped at the post, but Joe's mother and supporters were probably the most excited group present.

                    Joe - the HVC heat winner and 2013 Young Chef District 1220 runner up.