Young cooks from Oxfordshire have been crowned Midcounties champions of the 2021 Create & Cook Competition. Poppy Proctor and Alina Frost from St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon created a flavoursome menu of Oxfordshire Brightwell Ash goats’ cheese and spinach ravioli with a homegrown rhubarb and raspberry crumble served with crème anglaise custard using local eggs and milk.

The girls dishes were stuffed full of Oxfordshire produce and were beautifully presented. Min Raisman, organiser of the Create & Cook Competition says “We had to have a virtual final this year, relying on teacher's self assessments and tasting notes. It made the judging hard as the judges sorely missed tasting all the delicious dishes! It was hard to choose just one winner but it was Poppy and Alina's attention to detail and presentation that won them the title." Congratulations to everyone who entered our competition this year. It's great to hear form young cooks who are championing their local communities, supporting their local farmers and food producers and helping reducing food miles and halt climate change.

The runners up in the Midcounties final were Ella Russell and Keira Beard from Shrewsbury High School, Shropshire with a beautifully balanced dish of Strawberry Farm pork Asian style meatballs with Udon noodles and pak choi and a subtly sweet Shropshire honey cheesecake with strawberries. The other runners up were Imogen Hutchinson and Ailsa Morrison from the Cotswold School, Bourton in the Water, Gloucestershire. Their dishes focused on Bibury trout and a gluten free meringue roulade filled with homemade lemon curd and berries.

Thanks to all the food technology teachers who have engaged with our competition over the years. Please keep up the good work. Teaching young people to cook, giving them the skills and confidence to cook healthy food for themselves and their families is so important. If we can also help them be responsible consumers, to care about how they shop, everyone will benefit.

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