Warrington Collegiate’s Junior MasterChef helps discover catering stars of the future

High school students from across Warrington had the opportunity of swapping the classroom for Warrington Collegiate’s state-of-the-art kitchens when they took part in the college’s very own Junior MasterChef.

The inaugural competition, judged by Great British Menu winner Chris Holland, took place on Friday 24th March and saw 16 students from six schools take part.

The event, organised by the college’s school engagement team, in partnership with the hospitality & catering department, was dubbed a huge success by students, parents and teachers.

Each team was tasked with producing a chicken dish, as well as a pastry-based dessert, with India Walton and Emily Tickle from Culcheth High School named as winners for their mouth-watering concoctions.

A special bonus prize, which included free places on the college’s one-day chocolate course, was presented to Izzy Hicks and Libby Egerton from St Gregory’s Catholic High School, for their incredible choux pastry – described by chef lecturer Scott Surtees, who himself specialises in pastry, as the best he has ever seen.

Other schools taking part in the competition were Beamont Collegiate Academy, Byrchall High School, Sir Thomas Boteler CE High School and University Academy Warrington.

Chef Chris Holland said: “The standard of food produced today has been amazing. It’s a great thing to be part of, bringing the next generation of chefs through. There were a few problems during cooking but everyone managed to get through. Everyone that has taken part has done an extremely good job.”

Teacher Karis Mason, from Beamont Collegiate Academy, said: “The students have had an amazing time. We would love to enter more students next year.”

Mrs Simpson, from winning school Culcheth, added: “This has been a great opportunity for our students to be able to cook in such fantastic facilities.”

Judging proved to be a difficult task for Chris and Scott.

“Chris and I are absolutely confident in the future of our industry after seeing the food that is being produced by students of your age. We have both been taken aback by the quality and standard of what has been produced by everyone,” said Scott.

“There are no losers. Everyone who took part in the competition today did an absolutely fantastic job. Congratulations to everyone who has taken part today, and also a big thank you to my level 3 students for helping out and ensuring everything ran smoothly.”

Junior MasterChef was the first of a series of competitions being held by Warrington Collegiate in the coming months, with entries now open for Young Performer & Young Artist of the Year.