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Cumbria and Lancashire heat of the Rotary Young Chef Competition

Winner Hannah Bentley

Standing by their work stations at The Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge, as the start time approached, a surprising air of calmness descended on the sixteen budding young chefs aged between 12 and 16 who were about to produce a healthy three course meal for two people costing £20 or under. With supporters from sponsoring Rotary Clubs, teachers and parents, the results were eagerly awaited. After what seemed an eternity, the judges declared the results.

First was Hannah Bentley aged 15 of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, with her menu of Broccoli and Stilton Soup, followed by Pan Fried Sea Bass, curried cauliflower purée and mango relish with a dessert of Raspberry Mousse, meringue kisses and Raspberry Coulis. Hannah was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Penrith.

The judges had particular praise for her dessert which they classed as outstanding.

The Runners-up were; Kimberley Crossland, aged 14 of Keswick School and Jemima Neal aged 12 of Queen Katherine School, Kendal. All three now go forward to to the North West Regional final to be held on Saturday 16 March at Kendal College.

Rotary District Youth Chairman Shaun Ashworth, presented Hannah with her trophy, cash prize of £50 and vouchers for afternoon tea donated by The Lakeside Hotel, Newby Bridge.

Commenting on the standard of the meals presented, judge Richard Booth Head Chef at The Lakeside Hotel said: “I have been judging this competition for a number of years and each year the quality of the meals gets higher and higher, so to all the chefs here today, you are all winners.”

Ken Day of the Rotary Club of Ulverston, who was joint organiser of the event, congratulated those taking part and thanked Robin Sharp, Head of Food Technology at The Lakes School, for the use of the School’s facilities and judging chef Graham Gelder of McClures Catering who provided aprons for the competitors.

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