A 12-year-old girl from St Albans has been named winner of the Rotary Young Chef competition - despite being the youngest competitor.

Caitlin Lacey, who attends Beaumont School, presented a sophisticated meal for two of crab lasagne and a lemon meringue dessert in record time and on an £18 budget.

Her meal wowed the judging panel, which consisted of Stables restaurant manager Martin West, retired head of department and lecturer at Oaklands College Paul Wood and St Albans district council's Liz Marcy, who organised the city's food and drink festival.

The competition took place at Oaklands College on Wednesday, November 22, with 15 pupils aged 12 to 16 taking part from Beaumont School, Marlborough Academy, St Albans High School for Girls and Nicholas Breakspear.


Mayor of St Albans Cllr Anthony Rowlands presented trophies to Caitlin and runners-up Parissa Shah and Aanya Shah of St Albans High School for Girls.

He also spoke of the vital role of chefs in the hospitality industry and in the wider economy.

Andrew Thompson, president of the Rotary Club of St Albans Verulamium, presented certificates to each contestant, and the event was closed by the Rotary Club's Lavinia Hale, who organised the competition.