Bury College were the proud hosts of Junior Masterchef 2018 as high school pupils from across Bury donned their aprons and cooked up a storm.

Celebrating its 18th year running, this annual event, presented by the Rotary Tottington and Bury West, welcomes pupils from across the borough to compete against their peers. Taking home first place was a team from The Derby High School, who produced a tasty main of grilled spicy chicken tikka with mild green chutney. Zainab Azam and Afreen Kayani impressed judges with their passion and attention to detail.

Six teams of two pupils were challenged to create a main meal as well as a dessert in just two hours and were instructed to use fresh and local produce. The teams included pupils from The Derby High School, Elms Bank Specialist Arts College and Castlebrook High School.

Once cooked, all food was sampled by a panel of judges made up of industry experts. This popular event is recognised across Bury as an exciting opportunity for young people to develop new skills in the college’s industry standard kitchens. The competition attracts a lot of local talent from around the area and also provides a taster session for Catering within Bury College.

Winning student Afreen was delighted to be placed first and to have her dedication to the kitchen recognised. Afreen said, “I am really happy to have won! I developed my teamwork skills and my confidence.”

Mrs Brigham, Head of Food Studies at The Derby High School added, “I am delighted at how well our pupils did in this competition. The pupils will be required to do something similar to this for their food exams so it is great practise.”

Securing second place was Finlay Hughes and Marshall Longworth from Castlebrook High School and claiming third place was Fatima Hassan and Liam Crowther from The Derby High School. Awarded the Best Dessert prize was Katie Hargreaves and Evie Skinner from Castlebrook High School. 

Pat Wall, Chairman of Community and Vocational Committee of Rotary Tottington and Bury West said of this year’s event, “I look forward to this competition every year, and seeing the high quality dishes the pupils serve up. The Rotary Club is very much here to support the local community and engage with the community. Bury College are wonderful partners to work alongside with and are always really helpful.”

Madame Mayor of Bury, Councillor Jane Black, was also part of the evenings proceedings and awarded each pupil a certificate as recognition for all their hard work. She added, “I really enjoyed tonight, it’s been lovely to see all the energy, enthusiasm and hard work from all the young people. Everyone here tonight has been a winner and I hope everyone leaves feeling inspired.”

James Donnelly, Assistant Curriculum Manager for Catering at Bury College was delighted with the evening, “The Junior Masterchef 2018 has been a very good event, the standard has been as high as ever and everyone entered competitively. I would welcome any of these young people onto a Bury College catering course in the future.”

For more information about Catering courses at Bury College call 0161 280 8280.

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