Young Masterchefs in the making at St Albans secondary school

STUDENTS at a secondary school put their culinary skills to the test in a live cooking competition.

The ‘On Your marks, Get Set, Cook!’ event at Sandringham School in St Albans saw two teams of two pupils and two teachers go head-to-head to create the tastiest, healthiest dish possibly from a selection of mystery ingredients including fresh peppers, natural yoghurt and Chinese spices.

The red team with pupils Grace Hynds and Grey Moseley, along with their head of year Mr Coy, made the winning meal.

The competition was organised by professional chef Darren Tinkler from Chartwell’s, the school’s catering company of eight years, and is part of its ‘Putting Fun Back Into Food’ programme.

Darren said: “It is surprisingly easy to be a creative and healthy cook, even at the age of 11 and 13 and today’s competition has proved this.

“Children love learning cookery skills – it gives them the opportunity to use their hands and get messy – and the live audience makes the whole experience more exciting and heightens pupils’ sense of achievement. All of the pupils seemed to have lots of fun but, perhaps more importantly, went away with some hands-on cookery skills as well as more practical knowledge about healthy eating and nutrition; it was a fantastic day.”

Headteacher Alan Gray said: “It was a real privilege to have the Eat, Learn, Live team from Chartwells in to entertain students and provide a really important message about the importance of healthy eating.”