The judges gathered at an award-winning gastro-pub for the autumn launch of kids cookery contest Young Cooks last week.
And with less than two months until the November 7 deadline, their message to would-be entrants was grab your thinking caps and chef hats fast.
Judge Seth Proctor of Licensing Consultancy Services said: “If you haven’t had the opportunity to enter just yet, you better do so quickly.
“Get your creative thinking caps on, get into the kitchen, try a couple of dishes, enter the competition, and come along and have some fun.”
The judges met at award-winning gastro-pub The Dog in Wingham, where they were welcomed by owner Marc Bridgen and head chef Sam McClurkin.
Mr Bridgen said: “The Dog at Wingham is incredibly proud to be involved with the Young Cooks 2018, and we are really looking forward to welcoming back the judges, the families and the winning chefs to cook here in January for a celebratory banquet.”
Organised by the KM Charity, the competition is open to young people aged six to 19, who 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 a live Masterchef-style final at East Kent College in Broadstairs, and there are cash prizes for primary school, secondary and family champions, with £200 going to the overall winner.
And then, early next year, the overall winner will head back to Wingham to prepare a celebratory banquet for VIP guests, including competition judges, at the Dog.
The aim of the competition 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, including entry details, at www.youngcooks.org.uk.
The Young Cooks judges are NFU Mutual, SE Medical, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit, Benenden Hospital Trust, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, the Dogg Inn, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School, Licensing Consultancy Services, The Southern Co-operative, Whole School Meals, Brakes, East Kent College, Kent Catering Service and Macknade Fine Foods.