Young Cooks finalists announced

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A record 19 young people have been selected to take part in the finals of this year’s Young Cooks competition.

The sheer number of shortlisted entries is testimony of the high level of competition this year, and made the process of shortlisting extremely difficult for the judging panel.

The contest is run by the KM Charity Team to encourage young people to pay more attention to their food choices and learn how to prepare tasty and nutritious meals to a budget.

KM Charity Team chief executive Simon Dolby said: “Young Cooks has never before had so many superb entries.

“The quality is simply first-rate, and choosing the overall winners is now going to be very, very challenging. I wish the judges the very best of luck.”

The finalists will compete at a MasterChef-style event at the end of this month, when they will prepare their menus for the judges using the professional catering facilities at East Kent College.

Seven primary school pupils will cook one signature dish in 90 minutes. Four family pairs of one adult and one child will cook two dishes in two hours. And eight secondary school students will attempt to wow the judges by cooking two complementary dishes.

A £500 prize pot will be shared by the winners, with £200 going to the overall champion, £50 going to the winning primary school pupil, £150 to the top secondary school pupil, and £100 going to the family winner.

The judging panel comprises representatives from Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Whole School Meals, Macknade Fine Foods, the Southern Cooperative, Golding Vision (part of Golding Homes), Orbit, The Dog at Wingham, Chequers Kitchen Cookery School, Licensing Consultancy Services, Brakes, and Kent Catering Service.

The KM Charity Team is now looking for businesses to take part in the judging process for next year’s competition.

Mr Dolby added: “If your organisation has an education or family focus, or even if you would just like to be a judge in a MasterChef-style competition, then why not volunteer to be a judge at this wonderful event?”

To find out more about taking part in the judging process, contact event coordinator Maxine Tarquini on 0844 264 0291 or at

For more information about the competition, visit

The KM Charity Team’s other educational initiatives include Buster’s BakeOff, which is now open for entries. To find out more, visit

Young Cooks 2018 finalists

Family category

  • Joshua Frost from Reculver Primary School, Herne Bay
  • Georgia Holroyd from Sholden Primary, Dover
  • Brooke Keen from Hextable Primary School, Dartford
  • Megan Sewell from Hernehill COE, Canterbury


Primary category

  • Evie Ambrose from Hampton Primary School, Canterbury
  • Lydia Cananagh from Petham Primary School, Canterbury
  • Boglar Bote Godri from St Nicholas Primary, Shepway
  • Amelia Phillips from Bredgar CE Primary, Swale
  • Anya Goodman from Roseacre Junior School, Maidstone
  • Stephen Hayes from Whitstable Endowed, Whitstable
  • Alfred Moisan from Sandling Primary School, Maidstone


Secondary category 

  • Leah Matthews from New Line Learning Academy, Maidstone
  • Frank McCormick from St John’s Catholic Comprehensive, Gravesend
  • Amelia Page from Invicta Grammar, Maidstone
  • Lauren Harker from Maidstone Grammar, Maidstone
  • Patrick Baron from St John’s Catholic Comprehensive, Gravesend
  • Tilly Gander Compton Archbishop’s School, Canterbury
  • Kallie Lawrence from Dover Grammar School for Girls, Dover
  • Khishi Kaur from Westfield Academy, Watford
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