The Create & Cook Competition challenges young cooks aged 12-14 to create a 2 course menu using local ingredients. Find the competition guidelines here . If you'd like to join in, get in touch here

We have launched our 2021 competition to schools in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight and are very grateful for the continued support of our sponsors Coop Midcounties' Best of our Counties in the Midlands and Natures Way Foods in the South. They enable us to carry on educating young teenage cooks about where their food comes from and why it's so important to value local food.

FOR 2021
We are open to young cooks working from home and schools through their online learning. If other 12-14 yr olds and schools out of our sponsored areas would like to take part, you are more than welcome. We've already had interest from schools in Surrey and Yorkshire.

Now that schools have closed (Jan 2021) we have produced a set of worksheets to help teachers and young cooks with their online learning and to help them enter the competition whilst working at home or in school

Download worksheet 1 which includes 4 tasks:

1) Find your local ingredients
2) Learn where food comes from
3) Why buy local?
4) What's in season

Download worksheet 2 which includes 2 tasks :

5) Globally inspired, locally sourced
6) Recipe mood board

Download worksheet 3 which includes 3 tasks:

7) Choose your recipes and evaluate
8) Write up your menu
9) Tell us your story

These worksheets are based on a workbook shared with us by a food teacher in Oxfordshire who ran the competition with her years 8 & 9 a few years ago. The last worksheet with entry form details will be posted when we all know the situation with schools re-opening.

We'll be giving tips and hints on filling in the worksheets on our social media over the next few weeks with weekly challenges and videos from chefs, local producers, teachers and young cooks. We hope to create an interactive online community to keep us engaged and entertained. So do get involved whether working from home or whilst at school. The Create & Cook Competition is a great fun way to learn about local food and have some fun creating recipes. You might even be able to cook them at home too!

Supporting our local farmers and food producers has never been more important as we move post BREXIT and climate change becomes more of an issue. Young cooks are telling us they care about the planet and it's one of the main reasons they want to buy more local food. Last year's Gloucestershire winners Emma and Jemima from Denmark Road High School designed a menu that focused on ingredients from within 10 miles of their school in Gloucester. They told us why:

“We think buying local food is immensely important, as it reduces our carbon footprint, by having less food miles. Climate change is a huge issue in today's society and transportation such as planes, cars, any type of vehicle will increase a carbon footprint. With minimal food miles, minimal impact on the planet and great tasting produce, local food a great option to choose.

We wanted our key ingredients to come from within a 10mile radius of our school as climate change is important to us. Our plum jam uses Blaisdon plums from the village just outside Gloucester and is made by Sarah Churchill of Artisan Kitchen 1 mile from our school. Our Double Gloucester cheese and Harefield cheese for our pesto are from Smarts cheesemakers which is about 5 miles from our school.”

Educating young people about the connections between what they buy and the future of the planet is important and through the Create & Cook Competition the next generation is really making this link. Noah from Bredon School sums up:

" I have learnt local food is good for me, my community and the planet"

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