Find Local Ingredients
This competition is all about using local ingredients. We want you to search out food that is grown in Oxfordshire. You might find interesting ingredients in your local farm shop, your farmers market or even in your back garden. Home grown vegetables and fruit count as local ingredients. You must use at least 2 locally sourced ingredients in your menu and one from the Best of our Counties list - see below. Start with key local ingredients and then create your menu around them. You'll then have a brilliant entry.
For ideas on where to find local food in Oxfordshire try these websites:
Step 1 Tips for Young Cooks (click to view)
Use your contacts
Do you have a friend with chickens who can give you eggs, who keeps bees for honey, who has an allotment, who fishes? There are lots of different ways to source local ingredients.
Create your menu
To create your menu you must design:
- 2 course menu using at least 2 local ingredients and one from the Best of our Counties list
- your menu must have a summer theme as the finals are in the summer. Try and use ingredients that are in season in May & June
- you have 90 minutes to cook your 2 dishes and you should cook 2 portions of each dish.
- you have a budget of £25 for ingredients. If you get through to the final we give you money for ingredients.
Have fun being creative...
Step 2 Tips for Young Cooks (click to view)
Think summer. Can you design a light summer menu with produce that is in season? eattheseasons.co.uk has good ideas of what is in season in May & June.
Keep it simple
Sometimes simple is best. Local ingredients often have great flavour so don't overcomplicate and let the local flavour shine through.
Use local chefs for ideas
Take a look at local restaurants' menus to see which combinations of ingredients may work together. If you don’t have time to visit then you can always look at their menu online.
Show off your skill!
Use your skills. We want to see what you can cook whether it's fresh pasta, meringue, puff pastry or risotto. Don't be shy to have a go.
Use own words
Try and write out the recipes in your own words rather than cut and paste off the internet. This shows us you've thought about the recipe.
Cook your recipes
Once you've designed your menu, write out your recipes and have fun cooking them. Make sure your recipes work and adapt them if they don't. Now is the time to refine your ideas and add some little extras. You need enough for two portions of each dish. Think about the presentation of your dishes too.
Step 3 Tips for Young Cooks (click to view)
You might want to add some biscuits to your dessert, a sauce to your main or some decoration to add colour. Those little extras will make all the difference to your entry.
Make sure your recipes only makes 2 portions. You don't want to throw away good ingredients. We want you to watch food waste.
Tell us your story
The judges want to know the story behind your menu. Why did you choose your menu? Is there a personal connection to one of your local ingredients? Are you using a tried and tested family recipe? We also want to know a bit more about your love of cooking and who inspired you?
Now you need to fill in the entry form and your teacher will send it off to us. Good luck!
Step 4 Tips for Young Cooks (click to view)
Are you using eggs from your own chickens? Did you catch your fish yourself? Are you using spices that are traditional to your family? These are some of the stories we've heard and give menus a personality.