NINE students from The Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water assembled at 9am on Saturday November 17 to take part in the first round of the Rotary Young Chef Competition for 2018/19.

This is the ninth year that North Cotswolds Rotary Club has organised the competition at The Cotswold School.

The task facing these budding young chefs was to prepare and serve up a meal for two persons in two hours, with ingredients costing no more than £20. Marks were awarded for planning, costing, healthy choice of dishes, range of skills used, hygiene and neatness of working, table presentation, and meals served at the correct temperature, but most marks were allocated for the taste and presentation of the starter, main course, and dessert.

The judges were led by Rotarian Peter Boxall, whose whole career has been in the hotel and catering trade. In 1989 Peter bought The Dial House Hotel in Bourton-on-the-Water. Initially. Peter did all the cooking, but as the hotel grew too busy, he eventually employed three chefs and achieved 2AA Rosettes for the restaurant. Assisting Peter were Teri Collett who runs her own catering business, and Hattie Price, a Year 11 student at The Cotswold School and a national finalist in the Rotary Young Chef Competition 2017/18.

“This year the standards have been amazingly high,” said Bob Hadley who organised the competition on behalf of North Cotswolds Rotary Club.

The students were Celia Dawent, Izzy Dewar, Isla Mackintosh, Harry Marsden, Lottie Oliver, Millie Phipp,

Katy Smee, Elsa Thwaites and Sophia Torria.

The judges had the pleasurable task of tasting and marking a total of 27 dishes, but picking a winner was a challenge. After a lengthy deliberation they chose Katy Smee, 13 as the winner, with Izzy Dewar as runner up, and Harry Marsden was highly commended.

Katy’s winning menu consisted of dippy eggs with asparagus soldiers as her starter, followed by Gressingham duck with creamed potatoes, carrots and crispy

kale, and for dessert she served a disassembled apple and blackberry crumble.

Izzy’s menu was also adventurous and colourful, consisting of Loch Fyne smoked salmon served with a beetroot and horseradish crème fraiche sauce sprinkled with herbs, followed by gamekeepers fillet of venison served with pearl barley risotto, bramble gravy and rainbow

carrots, and her dessert was a marmalade and whiskey bread and butter pudding.