Students from local schools descended on Cornwall College Camborne recently, to take part in the regional heat of a national cookery competition organised by UK-based charity Springboard.
The Future Chef competition, which is aimed at encouraging young people to consider a career in catering and open to school children aged between 12 and 16, involved taking part in a heat at their school before competing in a regional heat hosted in the College's prestigious Trevenson Restaurant kitchens at Camborne.
Young representatives from Hayle Community School, St Joseph's School, Penair School and Richard Lander School competed against each other in the regional heat, producing a main course and dessert to be judged by a panel of judges on their workmanship, creativity, menu balance and dish taste.
Judge Mike Turner, Chair of the Devon and Cornwall Institute of Hospitality, said: "The students are all nervous but they're doing a brilliant job. There's lots of imagination in their dishes and I can see the influence of cookery programmes and celebrity chefs, which is great."
Neil Medhurst, Youth Programmes Manager for Springboard, said: "I'm completely amazed at the level of skill the students have shown and it's fantastic that young people are so interested and have these abilities already. Cooking is a life skill and being able to cook and be aware of what's nutritionally beneficial is important. The facilities here at the College are fantastic and give them a real taste of what a professional kitchen is like."
Kensa Collins, 15 from Hayle and a student at Hayle Community School, said: "I really want to be a chef so I was really keen to take this opportunity. I'm really enjoying it and the facilities here are really good."
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: "As a College, we're always really keen to encourage the next generation of learners and supporting activities like this is really important in showcasing what we can offer to support them in achieving their future career goals. I wish them all the best of luck in the competition."
The winning student was Lydia Uglow from St. Joseph's School in Launceston who will now go on to compete in the regional final to be held at Petroc College in Devon in February 2012.