Two young school pupils have won a three-year Specialised Chefs Scholarship at Bournemouth & Poole College as part of The Teflon Diamond Standard Awards.
The awards offer the chance for non-professional cooks attending school and catering college to showcase what they’ve learnt and to gain recognition for their cooking ability at home.
The three categories of the awards included the Keen Young Cook (aged 12-16 years), Aspiring Student Chef (16-19 years), and Keen Home Cook (aged 17 years and over).
The winner of the Keen Young Cook award was Reece Bosowitz, from Stevenage. Bosowitz cooked loin of Wild Fallow Deer, with parsnips (puree, sweet roasted, parsnip crisps), kale, pickled blackberries, served with walnut ketchup and meat juices.
The winner of the Aspiring Student Chef award was Jack Rymer, a pupil at Gillingham School in Dorset. His winning dish was roast poussin served with confit poussin leg, red pepper puree and salsa Verde mash.
The winner of the Keen Home Cook award was Yui Miles, from Essex. Miles served Khoa Soi or ChiangMai Noodles, followed by sticky rice with caramelised coconut, Thai egg custard and sweet and salty prawns paired with Lychee Gin Granita.
The nine Keen Home Cooks from across the UK attended the national cook-off at the Waitrose Cookery School, Finchley Road, while the five shortlisted Aspiring Student Chefs and 14 Keen Young Cook finalists attended Bournemouth and Poole College to cook their signature dishes for the panel of judges.
Heading up the judges for the competition was celebrity chef Lesley Waters. The team of esteemed chefs included Chewton Glen’s Luke Matthews, Bournemouth and Poole College’s Paul Dayman and headteacher of Lesley Waters Cookery School’s Jacks McDonnell.
The Keen Young Cooks cooked their favourite dish and the Keen Home Cooks cooked two courses of their dream dinner party menu. The Aspiring Student Chefs cooked a signature classic with a twist, undertook a mystery fish dish challenge, a practiced Cold Classic Chocolate Mousse recipe and an observation test.
“To win was a great feeling and it is a huge opportunity for my career as a chef, I am very grateful for what the judges have done for me and I aim to take full advantage of the scholarship to advance my skills I have and to learn lots of new skills as a chef,” says Rymer. “I thought the day was extremely well organised with friendly staff to help with any questions we had, they made us feel comfortable and ease the nerves while giving very important constructive feedback on all the dishes we made.”
Both days saw an exceptional standard of cooking from the finalists with Reece Bosowitz and Jack Rymer both being awarded the prestigious three year Specialised Chefs Scholarship, a life changing opportunity to gain insight into the world of professional catering and even the chance to become one of the country’s finest chefs, training in the best restaurants in the UK. Yui Miles received a luxury hamper brimming full of cooking and foodie goodies worth more than £200.
In addition to these prizes, all the winners received bundles of Teflon non-stick coated cookware from lead sponsor Circulon, gift sets from partner Thermapen and cash prizes of up to £500.
Also celebrated were Suzanne Anderegg and Harriet Chappell, who won highly commended in the Keen Home Cooks category and Rohan Misir and Katie Prigg, won high commended for the Keen Young Cooks.