Kirkcudbright pupil Isabelle Newhousehas scooped first place in The Rotary Young Chef competition organised by the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright.
The competition, which has been run locally for the past seven years, is open to anyone aged 11 to 17 years and the seven senior pupils taking part each cooked a two course meal for two, using local ingredients, all for under £10.
Sixteen-year-old Isabelle’s winning menu was, for her main course, cream chicken wrapped in parma ham, roasted tomatoes and parmesan potatoes and for her dessert, vanilla baked cheesecake with a blackberry and mint compote. Isabelle also won the certificate and prize for Best Table Setting. Runner-up in the competition was Rhanna Russell who cooked a mains course of roast duck with maple syrup vinaigrette and vegetables and, for her dessert, little lemon mousses with home made lemon curd.
The Rotary Young Chef Competition was designed to give young people the chance to show off their creative culinary talents, to promote healthy eating and to learn important life skills. The young chefs are judged on their healthy menu, planning and organisational skills, hygiene, preparation skills and, of course, the taste and presentation of the final dishes.
The competition was judged by Paul Wilkinson from The Castle restaurant in Kirkcudbright and by Maurice Halliday and Peter Wimbush from the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright. The judges were all once again enormously impressed by the dishes produced by the students. They commented that their meals compared very favourably with the meals that they had eaten at many good restaurants. They also praised the Home Economics Department for continuing to develop the now well established tradition of talented young chefs.
Isabelle and Rhanna will now go through to the next round of the competition, the Rotary Area Competition, which will be held at Kirkcudbright Academy on Tuesday 2nd December. This stage is then followed by a District, Regional and finally a National competition, hopefully for Isabelle and Rhanna!
In addition to her prizes awarded on the day, Isabelle will now also get the opportunity to assist the five professional chefs at the Kirkcudbright Food Festival ‘Five Chefs, One Venue, One day’ on the 19th October when she will have the chance to meet with, talk to, and work alongside Tony Singh, Tom & Malcolm Kirkpatrick, Ian McAndrew and Martin Avey .