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Rotary crowns Young Chef of the Year

Created on 14/11/2019 @ 09:23
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Talented year 11 pupil Jessica Hearne was crowned Welshpool Rotary’s Young Chef of the Year at a competition held in association with Welshpool High School this week.

The annual competition sees pupils battle it out to represent the Welshpool area at the prestigious Rotary District Final, which is being held at Coleg Cambria, Deeside on February 8, 2020.

The competition, which has been running for six years, is one of the Rotary Club’s highlights of the year and encourages high school pupils to consider becoming future chefs.

This year, the Rotary Club partnered with local and award-winning apprenticeship training provider Cambrian Training by inviting ex-army apprentice chef, Arwyn Watkins, OBE, to judge the competition. As the company’s managing director and president of the Culinary Association of Wales, Arwyn values every opportunity to inspire and encourage young people into the industry.

“It is a great opportunity and a pleasure to judge the competition, as it is of high importance to ensure we encourage young people of all ages to enter the industry and become future chefs of Wales,” he said.

The brief for the final was for the year 11 pupils to design, cook and plate up a two-course meal of their own design in 90 minutes. Pupils were asked to either cook a starter or dessert with their main course and present it for judging on a clothed table.

Seven finalists cooked their way through from an original 18 pupils in the school’s BTEC Hospitality class. Elin Kerr, Reuben Parry, Finlay Warburton, Anna-Louise Whitaker, Sophie Williams, Jessica Hearne and Molly Gore showcased some great cookery skills and creative flare.

“I was very impressed with the level of skills showcased and especially the confidence all the pupils had throughout the competition,” said Arwyn. “It was a closely fought contest, but I was delighted to name Jessica Hearne the winner with Molly Gore the runner up.”

All competitors received a certificate of participation, with Jessica and Molly receiving vouchers donated by Alexander’s of Welshpool and Welshpool Rotary Club. Cambrian Training has offered to mentor and coach Jessica through to the next round of the competition.

PICTURE: Competition judge Arwyn Watkins, OBE (left) with Young Chef of the Year Jessica Hearne and Welshpool Rotary Club president Gwyndaf James.

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