James Martin impressed by young Harpenden chef

TELEVISION chef James Martin last week awarded a Harpenden secondary school pupil joint third place in a regional cook-off.

Charlie Taylor, 13, a Year 8 student at St George’s School, competed against budding young chefs vying to prove their culinary skills and ability to develop recipes.

James Martin, who has appeared on the likes of BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, was impressed with the teenager’s chilli bean samosas with coriander guacamole and citrus salsa in the Red Tractor beef and lamb ‘Mmmake it with Mince Challenge’.

Hundreds of entries were received for this year’s competition and 47 youngsters from across the country were selected to represent their region at six cook-off events judged by James.

The challenge is in its sixth year and aimed at 11-16 year olds who are passionate about cooking.

During the tense East Anglian heat in Cambridge yesterday, students had just one hour to prepare and cook their own original recipe featuring beef or lamb mince.

Charlie was highly commended in joint third place after competing against six other finalists.

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James said: “The standard of entries this year was extremely high and Charlie has done exceptionally well. His recipe was innovative, nutritious and well presented, but most importantly it tasted great.”