The Junior Chef competition, hosted by West Suffolk College in partnership with West Suffolk Council, has been a culinary success.
There were 21 impressive entries from children aged 10 to 15 years, who battled to win a funded place on the eight-week cookery course.
The event was made possible by funding from Suffolk Growth and is part of the Choose Hospitality project focused on changing perceptions of the hospitality sector and visitor economy in West Suffolk.
Together with Mark Cordell, CEO, Our Bury St Edmunds BID, and Claire Waterson, operations manager, West Suffolk College, Robert Everitt, cabinet member for Families and Communities, West Suffolk Council, judged the competition to decide the 12 winners and award their certificates.
Councillor Everitt said: “I thoroughly enjoyed judging the competition entries. The standard of work produced was remarkable which made judging very challenging. The Junior Chef programme will be a great opportunity for these talented young people to expand on their knowledge and skills.”
And Susan Glossop, cabinet member for Growth, West Suffolk Council, said: “It was wonderful to support the Junior Chef competition this year as skills development is a large priority for West Suffolk Council. By working in partnership with West Suffolk College, we have helped the younger generation to explore and be inspired by the possibility of a future career in hospitality. I enjoyed attending one of the cookery classes on Saturday and was very impressed with how keen the students were, and the support and encouragement offered by the head chef and assistants.”
The competition winners started their fully funded Junior Chef course on Saturday, September 24, and began their journey to learn new skills, techniques, and recipes in a professional kitchen.
A congratulatory session will be held on Saturday, November 19, the last day of the course, with an invitation extended to their families to mark the special achievements of the competition winners.
There are more Choose Hospitality activities to come, including careers inspiration sessions, cooking demonstrations and hands-on activities in some schools in the new year.