Two Junior Chef winners!

Pictured left to right: Junior finalists, Vikki Pearcey, Munopa Nhete, Emily Henson, Anna West, Amber Clay, Samantha Taylor-Clarke

We’re delighted to announce that, after a Junior final of the very highest calibre at Ashburton Cookery School, we have joint Junior Chef winners!  Many congratulations to Amber Clay from Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury and Anna West from Penair School, Truro.

Judges all agreed that the quality of cooking on display from all six finalists was exceptional, especially from such young cooks, aged only 12-15!  Finalists ensured that the judges were thoroughly challenged in their task and after much deliberation, the panel agreed that they could not pick only one winner!

Congratulations to all the finalists for making this such a thrilling final and one which our judges will talk about for a very long time!

The other finalists were

  • Emily Henson from Bournemouth School for Girls, Dorset
  • Munopa Nhete from Queen’s College, Taunton, Somerset
  • Vikki Pearcey from Lavington School, Market Lavinton, Wiltshire
  • Samantha Taylor-Clarke from Stover School, Newton Abbot, Devon


Finalists and their mentors

Each of our young finalists was mentored by one of our judges – thank you very much to all of these great chefs:

  • Amber Clay – mentored by Gus Ashenford at 5 North Street, Winchcombe
  • Anna West – mentored by Stephane Delourme at The Seafood Restaurant, Padstow
  • Emily Henson – mentored by Brett Sutton at The White Post, Rimpton
  • Munopa Nhete – mentored by Liam Finnegan at The Castle Hotel, Taunton
  • Vikki Pearcey – mentored by Hywel Jones at Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Samantha Taylor-Clarke – mentored by Mark Dodson at The Masons Arms, Knowstone


Thank you very much to the families and teachers of all the finalists who have inspired them to develop their cooking skills and supported them over recent months in reaching the final.

Amber and Anna pictured with our judges


A big thank you to all of our judges for the final:

  • Michael Caines MBE
  • Chris Tanner
  • Darrin Hosegrove
  • Liam Finnegan
  • Seth Ward
  • Rosanna Rothery (Food Mag).


Finalists and their dishes

Each of the finalists created a dish that would not be out of place on a restaurant menu:



Amber Clay, Alderman Knight School, Tewkesbury








Gloucester Old Spot pork belly with black pudding bonbons served with red cabbage, apple mash and a thyme infused cider reduction


Anna West, Penair School, Truro








Pan fried Turbot served with Cornish vegetables, a potato crisp, cauliflower three ways, broccoli and a red wine sauce


Emily Henson, Bournemouth School for Girls








Devon Ruby beef fillet and smoked bacon lasagne, roasted onions and girolles







Munopa Nhete, Queen’s College, Taunton








Dexter beef surf and turf



Vikki Pearcey, Lavington School, Devizes








Beef Wellington with Stilton sauce served with long stalk broccoli and wild mushrooms

Samantha Taylor-Clarke, Stover School, Newton Abbot







Roasted fillet of beef wrapped in Prosciutto, pan seared wild mushrooms, pea purée, crushed mid potatoes, butter poached Morado garlic and a red wine jus






Home Cook Final

The Home Cook final, sponsored by  was also held on the same day, when our five finalists created some imaginative and delicious menus.  The winner of this category will be announced at our awards presentation evening on Wednesday 25th October at Exeter Golf and Country Club.  Why not join us for a wonderful meal prepared by Michael Caines, James Mason and Jamie Coleman and to find out who has been successful in this and the professional and student chef categories.  Click here for more details and to book your tickets.

Congratulations to each of our Home Cook finalists who put so much work into their menus and  demonstrated some fantastic cooking on the day.  They were asked to prepare a two-course menu (main and dessert) using a number of compulsory ingredients: Saddle of Lamb, supplied by MC Kelly or Sea Bass supplied by Kingfisher Brixham and Autumn fruits and berries, supplied by Total Produce.

(official photographs to follow – these are only temporary!!)


Andrew Callaghan, Verwood, Dorset








Pan fried Sea Bass, apple cider beurre blanc with black garlic, Dauphinoise potatoes, beetrroot purée and star anise carrots








Dorset Puff Autumn tart with sugar glaze and Pomonoa infused clotted cream


Lucinda Ellicott, Paignton, Devon








Rosemary and croissant encrusted lamb














Autumn raspberry soufflé

Emy Mordue, Exeter, Devon








Pan fried Sea Bass with watercress and leek velouté









Blackberry and British Cassis mousse cake


Kelly Shannon, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire









Breaded lamb chops with cheddar croquettes, apple and ale gravy, rocket salad and a cider vinegar and mustard dressing













Soufflé and home made Sloe Gin


Sue Stoneman, Exmouth, Devon








Pan fried Sea Bass with celeriac purée, seasonal vegetables and a sparkling wine and vanilla sauce








Boozy berry Black Forest gâteau











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