Award for young Knaresborough chef

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A young Knaresborough chef has picked up third place in a cooking competion judged by TV chef James Martin.

Thirteen-year-old Sophie Baxter, a Year 9 pupil at King James’s school, was awarded the prize after an hour long cook-off with six other students at Harrogate College on Monday, November, 12.

James Martin said: “Our finalists have been outstanding this year and Sophie has done exceptionally well to achieve third place. Her recipe was creative, nutritious and brilliantly presented. Most importantly it tasted fantastic. It is so inspiring to meet so many talented young cooks and each and every one of them really impressed me.”

Sophie competed alongside fellow King James’s pupils Molly Bowlas and Penny Salter – who were both Highly Commended in the Red Tractor beef and lamb “Make it with Mince” Challenge.

Food Technology teacher Amy Garbutt said she was “delighted” to see the students get through to the regional finals.

The seven contestants got through to the regionaly finals after being chosen from hundreds of entries and were judged for their recipe development and culinary skills.

The competitors had an hour to prepare, cook and plate-up their own original recipe featuring beef or lamb mince and Sophie impressed judges James Martin and Denise Spencer-Walker with her Pastitsio a la greque.

Judge Denise Spencer-Walker, Food Advisor for Red Tractor beef and lamb, added: “We received so many inventive and unusual recipe ideas this year, so singling out just 50 regional finalists was a tough job. Sophie’s enthusiasm for great cooking really shone through and I’m sure she will go on to achieve great culinary success in the future. I hope that all those who entered will be inspired to make cooking a bigger part of their day-to-day lives and inspire others to do the same.”

The competition is open to young people aged 11-16 year old, and competitors come up with their own original recipes using beef or lamb mince withing a £10 budget.

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