THE country’s next Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson may come from Wigan judging by the talent on show in the borough’s schools.
Both primary and secondary school students have been receiving praise for their culinary skills this week.
Rose Bridge High School year 11 pupil Shopna Begum won the local final of the Springboard UK Future Chef Competition while year six trio from Millbrook Primary School, Rhiannon Kettle, Luke Smith and Matthew Stockley, won the schools competition at the North West Food Lovers Festival.
Shopna created her own two course menu for two people on a £7 budget and wowed judges with her “Taste of the Sea” dish.
The 15-year-old cooked lightly battered pan fried plaice fillets with spinach puree followed by pineapple with pistachio cake.
The talented budding chef, said: “I cook at home as a hobby and plaice is my mum’s favourite so that’s how I came up with the recipe. I want to be a nurse when I’m older, I will keep cooking though.”
Industry experts commented on Shopna’s stunning flavours and excellent presentation, she will now go forward to the North West finals in February at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Millbrook’s triumph was more of a team effort as the year six pupils came up with a well balanced and healthy dish as part of the Co-operative’s Adopt a School programme.
The three representatives then cooked their recipe – “Zesty lamb kebabs with chilli noodles and avocado salad” at the festival held at Tatton Hall under timed conditions under the watchful eyes of four professional judges.
Year six teacher Carly Royal, said: “After the judges tasted the food and talked to the chefs it was announced that we were the winners.
“Needless to say all 36 members of the Millbrook party were cheering as if we had won the cup final!
“All the pupils worked hard and supported each other well during the whole process and our hard work and dedication paid off. They created the dish without any help from staff.”
Prizes for the school included certificates, kitchen equipment, and the Junior Food Lover champions trophy.