A 14-year-old boy from Milton Keynes has been named Young Cook of the Year for this year’s Guild of Food Writers Cook It competition.
It was the first time George Perry had ever entered a competition, but he prepared a stunning and accomplished Monkfish with Colcannan, Hollandaise and Asparagus Parcel followed by a Dairy, Fruit and Nut Crumble.
“It’s been overwhelming but fun at the same time.” said George.
Organised by the Guild of Food Writers, the Cook It competition asked entrants aged between 10 and 16 to create a two-course meal that they would cook to impress their friends and family.
After an initial judging stage, six finalists were asked to take part in a ‘cook-off’ held at the Electrolux Training Academy on 17 June in front of a panel of judges. This year, the judges were cookery writers Sam Stern and Felicity Cloake and food writer and TV consultant, Justine Pattison.
The six finalists had 1½ hours to cook their winning meals, with each dish judged on its taste, presentation and originality. The judges were genuinely in awe of the level of skill, creativity and contagious enthusiasm the finalists showed for cooking.
“I was honestly gobsmacked by the standard of cooking,” said Felicity.
“These young chefs have talent and ambition in spades.
“With clever ideas, a good understanding of their ingredients and solid skills, these are all names to look out for in the future!’
Fellow judge, Justine agreed. She said: “The amount of thought that has gone into each of the menus is extraordinary and it’s fantastic to see young people cook to such a high standard.”
The sponsors, Gold Top, generously offered two first prizes of a four-night family break at Tredinney Farm in Cornwall for the winner in each age group.