Bungay pupil impresses the judges in national cooking contest

Bungay High School pupil Oliver Patrick who is through to the regional final of the Future Chef Comp

Bungay High School pupil Oliver Patrick who is through to the regional final of the Future Chef Competition. - Credit: Archant

A 14-year-old Bungay pupil has impressed two sets of judges with his culinary skills, earning him a spot in the next round of a national cooking competition.

Oliver Patrick, a Year 10 GCSE food technology pupil at Bungay High School, is through to the regional final of the Future Chef Competition, which brings together young, aspiring chefs to showcase their talents and get an insight into the culinary industry.

The contest starts with a school heat where pupils have to produce a variety of main course dishes within a budget of five pounds.

The Bungay final replicated a mini MasterChef atmosphere and Mark Hougham from The Castle Inn, Bungay, was a guest judge. The competition was won by Hannah Cox, with Oliver taking the runner up position.

The next round was the local final held at Norwich City College, and was the largest heat in the eastern region, with the two pupils from Bungay competing against 12 competitors from seven other schools. They had to produce a two-course meal in 90 minutes within a budget of seven pounds.

Oliver was chosen as the overall winner, impressing the judges with his menu of herb crusted cod, served with sauté potatoes and baby leeks in a white wine sauce, followed by sticky toffee and date pudding.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed the cooking and cannot believe I won. I want to develop my dish for the next round and look forward to working with my mentor.”

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The regional final will be held at Bedford College on February 8, and Oliver will be working with Alan Randall from Compass, who was one of the judges at the local final.

He will have to produce a two-course meal with a particular emphasis on knife skills within a budget of ten pounds. He will be provided with a personalised embroidered chef’s jacket to wear at the contest.

The national final will then take place on March 14 at Westminster Kingsway College in London.

Nicky Goring, head of food technology at Bungay High said: “We wish Oliver every success in the next round in the hope of gaining a place in the national finals.”

The Future Chef Competition is organised by Springboard Charity and is open to people aged 12 to 16.

Sophie Green, Springboard’s programmes manager, said: “It inspires students to learn to cook, introduces them and their schools to well-respected industry chefs, offers the opportunity to win fantastic prizes and gain anything from a valuable life skill to an informed career path into the UK’s hospitality industry.”