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Young chefs compete for primary school cooking prize

Published on Thursday, June 21, 2018

YOUNGSTERS from three Leicester primary schools will be competing for the title of Primary Chef of the Year on Tuesday (26 June).

The children – aged between eight and 11 – have been asked to come up with a balanced two-course menu that costs just £1.30 per head to prepare.

Cooking in pairs, and supported by a helper from their school, they will have just 90 minutes to prepare their menu under competition conditions.

Andrew Dexter, area manager of City Catering, said: “This is the second year we’ve run a Primary Chef of the Year competition and we can’t wait to see what the children come up with this time.

“We’re looking for a balanced meal that children of primary school-age will enjoy – and we also hope to see ingredients in the menu that reflect the diversity of the local community.”

Three schools – Overdale Primary, Sandfield Primary and Bridge Primary – are taking part in the competition, with all the students coming from years 4, 5 and 6.

The children’s menus have already been submitted to the judges and include Masala fish on a bed of rice with Bombay potatoes – and an unusual combination of watermelon with pizza.

Deputy city mayor for children and young people’s services Cllr Sarah Russell said: “Learning how to eat well on a budget is a valuable life skill – and it’s one that these young people seem to have acquired already.

"It’s great to see children as young as eight showing a keen interest in learning how to prepare healthy meals that are not only fun to cook – but that are also good to eat."

The cook-off will take place in the catering kitchens at Leicester College. Dave Thomas, programme area manager at the college, said: “We’re delighted to host this competition in partnership with City Catering and Leicester City Council.

“It’s really important that children are encouraged to develop an interest in food preparation, and this competition shows that it’s never too young to start.”

The young chefs behind the winning menu will receive a trophy and see their dishes served at primary schools throughout Leicester.

There will also be trophies for the best main course and the best dessert.

The Primary Chef of the Year competition is supported by City Catering, Central England Co-operative, Leicester City Council, Leicester College and the Soil Association.