The Rotary Young Chef competition was won recently by 16-year old Emma Hay.
The competition, which has been run locally for the past six years, is open to anyone aged 11 to 17 years. This year there was so much interest that for the first time there was a junior and a senior competition running simultaneously.
The seven senior pupils each cooked a two course meal for two, using local ingredients, all for under £10, whilst the seven junior students each cooked a one course meal for two, using local ingredients for under £5.
In the senior competition Emma’s winning menu was for her main course, pan fried duck with sweet potato mash, braised red cabbage and gin and redcurrant jus and for her dessert, raspberry and vanilla cheesecake with a raspberry coulis. Runner-up was Mhari McCulloch (15) and third was Jessica Hannay (15) The certificate for best table setting was won by Elliot Reynolds (14).
In the junior competition, the winner was 13 years old, Ailsa McCulloch. Her winning menu was pan fried duck with a raspberry and orange reduction and roasted autumn vegetables. Runner-up to Ailsa was Ellen Carr, also 13 whilst Megan Clark (14) finished in third place. The certificate for best table setting was won by Rory Grieve (14).
All eight winning students received cash prizes from Rotary who also met the cost of the ingredients used by all the students. The prizes were presented by Rotary president John Locke. Rotary worked closely with the Home Economics Department at Kirkcudbright Academy and particular thanks must once again go to Isla Porteous for her enthusiastic support of the event.
The competition was judged by Tom Kirkpatrick of Kirkpatrick’s Restaurant, Paul Wilkinson from The Castle restaurant in Kirkcudbright and Peter Wimbush from The Rotary Club.
The winner, Emma, and the runner-up, Mhari, will now go through to the next round, the Rotary Area Competition, which will be held at Kirkcudbright Academy on Monday 8th December. This stage is then followed by a District, Regional and finally a National competition.