Students from four schools across the Red Kite Alliance turned up the heat recently as they competed in the first Red Kite Masterchef Challenge.
They were challenged to create a healthy two-course meal on a Yorkshire Theme from scratch in just two hours.
The competition, which was hosted by Prince Henrys Grammar School in Otley, was hotly contested, with cook offs taking place at the partner school – Harrogate Grammar, Ilkley Grammar and Rossett – earlier in the week.
On the day, Chris Payne, from Korks Wine Bar in Otley, and Jodie Lloyd, from Waitrose, joined Deputy Headteacher Judith Nelson in judging the challenge. Entries were judged on their Yorkshire theme and ingredients, presentation, skill and flavours. The winner and runner up received goodie bags from Waitrose and each finalist received a generous voucher from Korks Wine Bar.
Winner Lottie Malia, Year 8 from Rossett School, cooked Nidderdale Rack of lamb with Harrogate Honey and Rossett Polytunnel Herb crumb served with fondant potato, wok scorched baby vegetables and Harewood asparagus, followed by a luxury trio of mini Rhubarb and Honey deserts made with local rhubarb and Harrogate honey.
Runner Up Ben Cooper, Year 9 from Prince Henry’s Grammar School, cooked Cottage Pie with Cheesy topping served with homemade bread followed by Profiteroles with a sweet rhubarb sauce and healthy garnish.
Delighted Lottie said: “It was really exciting. I felt nervous at the start but when I started cooking it was all right.”
Jodie Lloyd, Waitrose, said: “The standard of cooking was absolutely brilliant. The fact that they used local produce is something that Waitrose champions – it’s unbelievable that they can cook that well at that age.”
“The standard of food across all the contestants was exceptional for the age group and bodes well for the restaurant trade – to be able to recruit such talent in the future.” added Chris Payne, From Korks Wine Bar, Otley.
This is the first Red Kite Alliance Masterchef competition. The Alliance has regular inter-school events such as Book Quizzes and an Annual Art Exhibition at Harewood.