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Hammersmith and Fulham Young Chef of the Year 2020

Thirteen students from six Hammersmith & Fulham schools took part in the Young Chef of the Year finals at West London College last week, Thursday 27 February 2020. The prestigious VIP event was attended by the Mayor, Cllr Daryl Brown, council chief executive Kim Smith and the Council Member for Children and Education, Cllr Larry Culhane.

Hammersmith & Fulham Young Chef of the Year 2020

The competition, which kicked off in October 2019, asked each school taking part to put forward two students to compete in the final. The students, whose ages ranged from 12-14 and were of mixed abilities, had just one hour to create their magnificent dishes in the college’s industry-standard training kitchen. Each young chef had £7 to spend on their menu to include a starter and a main, or a main and a dessert.

A team of expert judges closely observed the students preparing their dishes and awarded marks based on organisation and timing, culinary skills, hygiene, taste and presentation.

The judges were Dietician, Miranda Greg; Head Chef Harvey Trollope from Sam’s Riverside in Hammersmith, Dipna Anand, Chef and owner of The Brilliant in Southall; Gerrard Madden, Head Chef Culinary for Delaware North at Wembley Stadium; Andy Needham, Chef and Owner at L’Amorosa in Hammersmith, and Danny Bowen and Cecily Darling from River Café in Hammersmith.

Two top prizes, titled ‘Overall Winner’ and ‘Most Nutritional Meal’ were awarded to Nadira Chjaoui of Fulham Cross Girls’ School for her main dish of Teriyaki Chicken with Sticky Rice and a Sushi Assortment starter, and to Zoe Kemp from Hammersmith Academy for the most nutritional meal with her starter of mackerel pate and main dish, Spanish tortilla.

Fern Holland, a teacher at Hammersmith Academy collected the prize on behalf of her Year 7 students who designed the poster to promote the competition.

Cllr Larry Culhane, Cabinet Member for Children and Education said: “The main reason we continue to do this event is for the young people. Fantastic food, fantastic effort, we’re so very proud of you, and if you want to go ahead and become a chef, we want to support you. We spend a lot of time bringing businesses to the borough and the single most important thing they care about is that are there fun, cool things for their employees to do –  and we’re lucky that we have such great diversity, which brings great food and restaurants to the borough.”

The prizes included Westfield Vouchers, a set of saucepans donated by Westfield, cookbooks donated by River Café and Dipna Anand, as well as work experience in some of the judges’ kitchens.

A delicious lunch was prepared for the students and VIP guests, which was made and served by West London College’s catering and hospitality students in the TASTE Restaurant.

Denise Charles, Head of Service Industries at West London College said: “The Hammersmith & Fulham Young Chef of the Year is one of the high points of our year. It’s a marvellous opportunity to celebrate the wealth of talent in local schools and it gives our students a great experience in preparing and servicing a VIP event.”

Hammersmith and Fulham Young Chef of the Year is an annual event hosted by West London College each year and was organised by Sam Lord, Hammersmith and Fulham Education Department and Graham Morrison, Hammersmith and Fulham Environment Department. The competition has been running for twelve years.

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