Celebrity Chef James Martin headed a team of judges at the final cook-offs at Croydon College, Bristol College, The Birmingham College of Food and Thomas Danby College in Leeds where finalists in the competition cooked up their winning beef mince recipes to find the winners from nearly 100 original entrants.
Earlier this year, The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) launched a nationwide Quality Standard beef mince competition - the Young Chef Challenge - to find talented chefs of the future. The free competition was set up to inspire young people to get cooking and encourage them to take a greater interest in the foods they eat. Entries from secondary schools from all over England were sent in and a short-list was chosen by the panel of judges to go forward to the finals.
James Martin, Celebrity Chef and Presenter of BBC1 Saturday Kitchen, was joined by Denise Spencer-Walker, Food Advisor from EBLEX, and The Institute of Consumer Sciences to judge the contestants and pick a winner. The students were given just one hour in which to prepare and cook their dishes. Contestants were asked to submit an original recipe of a beef mince dish, with a budget of £10, with everything from 'Glazed Caribbean Meatballs' to 'Aromatic Madras Mince' put forward.
The winners are as follows:
LONDON HEAT 1
First place: Hope Consdale, Maple Glazed Spicy Caribbean Meatballs, St Mary's School, Colchester
Second Place: Lee Burke, Tassata Pasta Layer, The Westlands School, Kent
Third Place: Jessica Todiwala, Sunset Supreme, Valentines High School, Ilford
LONDON HEAT 2
First place: Michelle Ezekwe and Jessica Thomas, Spiced Rice with Beef Kebabs and Firey Tomato Sauce, The Green School, Iselworth
Second Place: Ivan Shanley and Shashank Sivajai, Stuffed Aubergine, Westcliff High School for Boys, West Cliff on Sea,
Third Place: Ben Wood and Luke Wylie, Kofta Kebab with Minted Yogurt, Westcliff High School for Boys, West Cliff on Sea
First place: Michaela Hannides, Kestedes, Paignton Community and Sports
Second Place: Debra Bruton and Ellisha Francis, Tier of Chinese Pancakes and Chilli Mince, Maidenhill School
Third Place: Kaytie Pinder and Rebecca Wareham, Mince Pancakes, Chew Valley School,
First place: Stephanie Ferrara, Spicy Bean Pasties, Lutterworth Grammar School, Leicester
Second Place: David Bufton & Jade Edwards, Anglo-Italian Tortellini, Ludlow Church of England School, Shropshire
Third Place: Oliver Grice-Jackson, Chinese Beef with Pak Choy, Uppinham Community College, Rutland
First place: David Farinha, Burritos, Clitheroe Royal Grammer School, Lancashire
Second Place: Hannah Gibson and Katie Burnie, Beeflicious Burgers, Ribblesdale High School Tec College, Lancashire
Third Place: Selina Short, Keema Curry, St George's College of Technology, Lincolnshire
The panel of three judges presented the winners with their prizes and were joined by Quality Standard's "Beefy" character to hand over the prizes and the prestigious 'Young Chef Challenge' title. The lucky winners won fantastic prizes including - a ½ day cooking workshop with multi-award winning chef Richard Hughes, bespoke 'Young Chef Challenge' professional chef whites, signed James Martin cookery books and £200 worth of school equipment vouchers.