On Wednesday 09th January 2013, Kingsbury High School students competed against each other in the school heat of the annual RIBI Young Chef Competition. The participants were three students in Year 10, two Year 8 students and eight from Year 7.
While some of the students were chosen based on their performances in their Food Technology lessons, others demonstrated their passion for cooking in the school’s trial sessions.
Students were asked to create a main dish for two, from ingredients costing less than £6.00, against the clock. Three judges from the Rotary Club of Northwick Park; Sandy Myrants (Club President), Lucille Parker (Honorary Secretary) and Helen Antoniou evaluated the dishes on criteria including presentation, organisation, health and hygiene.
The winner, 14 year-old Olivia Taiwo who lives in Kingsbury, cooked a Sea bass en croute with puy lentils, served with roasted tomatoes and parched asparagus.
Olivia said “I have been baking with my mum since I was 4 and I started cooking on my own from the age of nine. I entered the RIBI competition because I thought it would be good experience to compare my skills with other students and to see if I might be good enough to take cooking up professionally one day. I am very happy and surprised at the same time to have won. I am very nervous, but excited about the next heat because I get to make a dessert – my favourite part of cooking!”
Sandy Myrants, Rotary Club of Northwick Park President said: “Olivia gained good marks all the way through. She made her own rough puff pastry, she filleted her own fish, she worked efficiently with a good awareness of hygiene and presentation. Finally her dish was beautifully cooked, tasty and had complementary textures of flaky pastry, tasty, delicately flavoured fish filling together with the added bite given by the puy lentils and the perfectly cooked al dente asparagus.”
Olivia, along with runner-up, 15 year-old, Sara Zaidi, will go on to compete in the North West London area semi-finals at the College of North West London on Wednesday 30th January 2013.
[photography by Steve; text by Camille]