Skip to content ↓

Students impress judges at Young Cook final

Published on 26/06/18

Judges had nothing but compliments for two Orchard School Bristol students who created some outstanding dishes at the Young Cook Awards final last month. 

Year 8s Kashvi and Harry made it through to the final round at the Square Food Foundation in south Bristol after impressing judges at the semi-finals in May.

Harry and Kashvi with Orchard School food teacher Miss Siddon

Kashvi made a main meal of coconut and spinach chicken curry with a chai pudding for dessert, while Harry cooked seafood paella for his main dish, followed by a citrus fruit pudding. 

The pair spent up to two hours preparing their dishes for the judging panel, which was made up of local professional chefs including Adrian Kirikmaa from St Monica’s Trust and Barny Haughton from the Square Food Foundation. 

They were each set a budget of £5 to spend on their ingredients.

Unfortunately, the pair missed out on claiming the Young Cook title, but were both heartened by the positive feedback from the judges.

Kashvi said: “I wanted to cook the curry because it’s something my mum makes and I really love it. I chose the chai pudding for my dessert because it’s original and quick for when you are on the go – and doesn’t use a lot of sugar.

Kashvi with her spinach and coconut chicken curry

“I never cooked before entering this competition, but I’m going to start cooking more at home – I look forward to entering the competition again next year.”

Explaining the inspiration behind his paella, Harry said: “Twenty years ago, my mum went on holiday to Malaga and came across a man selling paella.

“Twenty years later, we went back to the same place – and the same man was there, selling his paella. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve been making it at home ever since.”

Harry, who cooks for his family a few times a week, added: “Cooking in the finals was a great experience and it was good to get used to cooking in different environments for experienced chefs.”

Harry's seafood paella and citrus fruit pudding

The pair have ambitions of one day pursuing a career in food.

Emily Siddon, Orchard School food teacher, said: "We had a very exciting day at the Young Cook Awards. Harry and Kashvi worked incredibly well under pressure.

"Unfortunately we did not claim the title of Young Cook however they were both commended by the judges for their dishes. I am so proud of them."

Teaching a City to Cook is the programme behind the competition, developed by Bristol City Council with the help of local professional chefs to encourage young people to eat more healthily.

The programme links to Sugar Smart Bristol which has been running for over a year to educate local people about the dangers of sugary food in partnership with the Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. 

Adrian Kirikmaa, food development manager at St Monica Trust, said: "The standard was very high and I very much enjoyed the food cooked by Harry and Kashvi. The paella and chicken were both delicious and demonstrated great levels of cookery.

"It’s fantastic to see young people cooking food from scratch at such a high standard. Both students would make great cooks if they choose cookery as a profession."

Bristol City Council’s public health consultant Sally Hogg, who was one of the judges on the day, said: “It was great to see the focus and skills of all the contestants during the finals of the Young Cook Awards. 

“The judges were impressed by the variety and presentation of the dishes. Kashvi and Harry’s dishes were particularly commented on for their taste and originality."

Photos from the final can be found, here