The infusion of Indian cuisine and the Kent Cooks 2015 finalists made for a flavoursome day at East Kent College, Broadstairs this week.
The young chefs were invited to a Curry Masterclass at the college, arranged and hosted by Kent Cooks judge Paul Babra, whose chutneys, sauces and marinades tantalise the tastebuds of Kent’s foodies.
The finalists, which included overall Kent Cooks 2015 champion Isabella Lee of Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone, played witness to a demonstration highlighting spice awareness with the cooking of basmati cumin pulao rice, channa chickpeas curry, cucumber and pineapple raita, aromatic potato salad and mango lassi.
Mr. Babra joined the judging panel for the first time last year, and wanted to offer a hands-on prize to the finalists. He said:
“One of my main aims was to inspire young chefs; to introduce them to a wide range of spices and flavours which they could experiment with. The masterclass experience prize was specifically designed to educate them with the basic skills of Indian cuisine, with the hope that their abilities could soon fill some major gaps in the UK catering industry.”
Kent Cooks is an annual contest organised by the KM Charity Team and invites young people aged 6 to 19 to prepare a dish which they believe is delicious, healthy and showcases their cooking skills. Entry for the 2016 competition is now open, and the organisers are calling for local businesses to get involved.
Lisa Craig, event manager at the charity, said: “Getting children back in the kitchen and connected with cooking is incredibly important. It teaches them how to prepare and plan, as well as familiarising themselves with domestic skills which are essential in later life.
She added: “Last year’s event saw a fantastic volume of support from establishments across the county, and we are hoping to expand further this year. If businesses are interested in the initiative, please contact the team.”
Kent Cooks is one of many schemes managed by the charity which promotes green travel and literacy through services including Walk on Wednesday (WOW), Buster’s Book Club, Active Bug and Green Footsteps.