Judges of kids’ kitchen contest Young Cooks got the full Masterchef treatment at the competition’s summer relaunch.
They joined Pieter van Zyl in the Deal kitchen of his Chequers Kitchen cookery school to get a taste of what lies ahead for entrants of the KM Charity Team competition.
The judges put on aprons and oven gloves to take part in a scone-baking session, and all agreed that Young Cooks was an important and potentially life-shaping initiative.
Sarah Leipnik of Maidstone-based housing company Golding Homes said: “This is a competition that we are really proud to support and sponsor. It teaches life skills. It inspires children to get into the kitchen and cook some really lovely recipes with their families as well as on their own.”
While Zoe Gill of Ashford food business Brakes described Young Cooks as “a fantastic opportunity to engage with school teachers, catering teams and families”.
Roger Phillips East Kent College in Broadstairs said the competition was a “brilliant, brilliant event”, and Julia Hallett of Deal firm Whole School Meals said: “It’s so important to encourage children to learn to cook, either on their own or with their families because it sets them up for the rest of their lives.”
Entry for the competition is now open. There are cash prizes for primary school, secondary, family and overall champions, with a £200 top prize going to the overall winner.
Young people aged six to 19 can enter, and they are invited to submit ideas for dishes that are healthy and delicious.
The finalists will be invited to cook their dish for a VIP panel at the live final, which this year will be held at East Kent College (formerly known as Thanet College).
The aim is to develop the confidence and abilities of young people to prepare meals to a fixed budget, as well as to increase awareness of healthy options and locally grown Kentish produce.
Find out more about the competition and how to enter at www.youngcooks.org.uk.
The Young Cooks judges are NFU Mutual, SE Medical, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit, Benenden Hospital Trust, Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School, Licensing Consultancy Services, The Southern Co-operative, Whole School Meals, Brakes, East Kent College, and Macknade Fine Foods.