Hampshire Champions of 2016 Create & Cook Competition

Hampshire Champions of 2016 Create & Cook Competition

Scott Newell and Ryan Bloxsom from Bay House School, Gosport have won the 2016 Create & Cook Competition bringing the fit2ook trophy back to Hampshire.  The 13yr olds year old duo fought off stiff opposition from their Sussex, Isle of Wight rivals at the regional cookery competition final, held at Newlyns Cookery School near Hook in Hampshire (21 June). The Create & Cook Competition, which is run by fit2cook food education and sponsored by The Southern Co-operative, celebrates local food and nurtures young talent.

Winners Scott and Ryan were praised by the judges for their technically challenging menu and their comprehensive use of local produce. The boys cooked homemade local goat sausages with Rosary goat’s cheese and thyme Yorkshire puddings served with gravy and seasonal local vegetables. Their desert was liquorice panna cotta with home grown rhubarb and shortbread biscuits

After winning, Scott said: “It feels really amazing to have won. We’re extremely shocked as I didn’t think we could win, but also really happy to have won. We’ve practiced our menu every Monday evening since we found out we were in the regional final, sometimes we were even cooking until eight or nine at night. I think it just shows that if you work really hard and are determined, it really does pay off”.

Ryan added: “We did a lot of research into our ingredients to make sure they were all really local. We visited our local butcher, Neil Griffiths, who taught us how to make sausages and where all the meat comes from. We also visited the vegetable shop next door, All Seasons, where the owner spoke to us about the importance of buying local fruit and veg.”

The boys win £1000 for their food technology department and the fit2cook trophy which has been on the Isle of Wight for the last two years.

Min Raisman from fit2cook food education who runs the Competition was impressed with all the young cooks at the Regional Final “There were so many skills on show from making aioli and bread, to filleting fish, to making meringues and stringing sausages!  And it was great to see so many boys in our final this year showing that boys do enjoy competitive cooking as much as girls.  Scott and Ryan showed great confidence in the kitchen and cooked some really delicious food and they deserve to win.”

After judging the competition, Kate Hibbert said: “The standard and quality of the food produced by this year’s finalists was simple outstanding, making it extremely difficult to choose a winner. Scott and Ryan’s menu was completely inspired by locally sourced ingredients and they went out of their way to learn the details of the origin for each ingredient they used. Their dedication and cookery skills really shone through in the final – well done boys!”

Fellow judge Andy Mackenzie said: “It was amazing to watch both Scott and Ryan remain so calm throughout the final and for them to be able to cook with such exuberant confidence. Creating the goat sausages from scratch and using the acquired taste of liquorice in a panna cotta could have gone extremely wrong in many ways, but the boys did a fantastic job and all of the judges loved the dishes”.

Judging the young cooks were chefs Ben Cooke from The Little Gloster restaurant on the Isle of Wight, Steve Edwards from etch food in Sussex and creative consultant to the new  British Airways i360 restaurant in Brighton and Andy Mackenzie from the Exclusive Chef’s Academy plus Local Sourcing Manager for The Southern Co-operative's Local Flavours range Kate Hibbert.

Scott and Ryan’s opponents  cooking at the final were Ben Spooner and Harvey Walters from Varndean School in Brighton who cooked a Sussex fish stew with homemade bread and aioli and Brighton meringues with cream and raspberries; Akram Bouabane and Kyle Hobson from Oak Grove College in Worthing, Sussex who cooked home smoked spiced chicken with home grown salad leaves with spiced mackerel with a rhubarb, asparagus bundles and minted new potatoes; Kirsty Sciver and Nadia Robertson from Christ the King College on the Isle of Wight who cooked Island chicken stuffed with homemade pesto, goat’s cheese with Island vegetables and a tomato salsa plus a chocolate melt in the middle cupcakes with mini meringues and Isle of Wight cherry coulis. All the contestants were awarded a recipe trophy with their recipes professional styled and photographed for doing so well in the Competition.

The 2016 Create & Cook Competition was sponsored by The Southern Co-operative and supported by Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Farmers’ Markets, Wightlink, Exclusive Chef’s Academy, etch food, The Little Gloster, Field to fork, City College, Brighton, South Downs College and Newlyns Cookery School. To find out more and try the winning recipes, visit fit2cook.co.uk/recipes