The competition journey

For the 2021 competition we are encouraging schools to "create" menus focusing on local ingredients whilst learning about local food, the core of the competition. You don't have to "cook" the recipes to take part. We know some schools are finding cooking difficult with social distancing measures in place. We hope this won't go on for too long and we can all get back to cooking soon. We are planning a regional final at the end of the summer term 2021.

Closing date for entries Friday 26th March 2021.

Email us by 4th Dec to register your school for the 2021 competition here

The Create & Cook Competition ties in with the KS3 curriculum and is open to everyone in years 8 and 9, aged 12-14, who work in pairs. It's an engaging way to explore "the source, seasonality and characteristics of ingredients". It's also a great opportunity to learn about local food, to cook competitively, to develop teamwork, to meet local chefs for future contacts and to win prizes! Many schools run the competition as part of their scheme of work.
It's also a project that works well as a distancing learning/homework activity.

We have devised 4 simple steps for young cooks to work through for the competition. Once they have completed these steps they will be ready to fill in the entry form. The entry form is designed to be saved and worked on as a PDF. Once finished the entry form can be uploaded and sent to us via the website.
Each school can send in 3 entries - please choose your best 3.



Download Entry form Upload your completed entry forms

Step 1

Find Local Ingredients

This competition is all about using local ingredients. By local we mean ingredients produced/grown or reared on the Isle of Wight. Young cooks should start with finding their local ingredients, doing their research. Once they have chosen their local ingredients they can go on to design their menus. Starting with ingredients not recipes creates a stronger entry.

Learning about where our food comes from, how it is produced as well as seasonality and sustainability are key learning outcomes of this project. We also challenge young cooks to think about food miles. We are looking for ingredients that are available in June/July as this is when we hope to hold our final. Have fun discovering food on your doorstep!

Step 1 Tips for Teachers (click to view)

Step 2

Step 2

Create your menu

Time to create your menu. We are looking for creative summer menus that show a flair for cooking, an understanding of seasonality and a good use of local produce.

Design brief. Young cooks should design:

  1. Two course menu using at least 2 local ingredients and more if you can
  2. The menu must have a summer theme as we hope to hold a final next summer. Try and use ingredients that are in season in June/July.
  3. A salad element should be included in the menu - a plant based dish with a dressing,
  4. There is 90 minutes to cook your 2 dishes and you should cook 2 portions of each dish.
  5. The 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 Teachers (click to view)

    Step 3

    Step 3

    Cook your recipes

    For 2021 cooking the recipes is not essential. We know for many schools cooking is difficult with social distancing in place.


    Once the menus have been designed, have fun cooking the recipes. Check the recipes work and make amendments. You can see if there is time to add some little extras. Remember they need to cook 2 portions of each dish.

    Most schools have a cook off in school to decide which 3 entries to put forward. This is a good chance to get the management team involved in what you are doing! Everyone loves judging and tasting.

      Step 3 Tips for Teachers (click to view)

      Step 4

      Step 4

      Tell us your story

      The judges want to know the stories behind the menus. Is there a personal connection to one of the local ingredients? Are they tried and tested family recipes? We also want to know a bit more about the young cooks love of cooking and who inspired them - questions in the entry form. This always produces fun answers!

      Please check the spelling and grammar on the entry forms before uploading or emailing.

        Step 4 Tips for Teachers (click to view)

        Step 5

        Be Inspired

        Here are recipes from past finalists that have a summer theme and use lots of local ingredients. They were created and cooked by young cooks aged 13- 14.

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