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A budding young Trent College Masterchef is sharpening his knives after cooking his way to the District Finals of The Rotary Young Chef Competition in February.
Year 9 pupil Kieran Pritchett has landed his place in the second stage of the four round competition, which supports and encourages the development of cookery skills, by winning the local Rotary Club of Long Eaton Young Chef heat.
The Trent College youngster, whose grandfather is a chef, prepared a starter of stilton and walnut tartlet, a main course of lemon infused cod wrapped in prosciutto followed by cinnamon apple crumble with cream.
However, after a last minute disaster with his meal, Kieran, who reached the District Finals stage of last year’s competition too, admits he was very relieved to win.
He revealed: “When it came to plating up I dropped one of my tartlets on the floor, I was heartbroken I thought I would lose. In the end I won and it was all good, I was proud.
“I first started with baking, cakes, cheesecakes and then got into pastries, pies and higher baking. Because my granddad is a chef, food is automatically around me. He was proud that I won too. The District Finals is where I said goodbye last year. Hopefully it won’t be the same this year.”
Kieran counts Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Mary Berry as his cookery idols and already has his sights set on following in their footsteps.
He added: “My dream is to one day own my own network of restaurants and take over my Grandad’s catering company.
“I have watched Jamie Oliver and seen him as a role model since I was very young, also over the past two years I’ve looked up to Gordon Ramsay too. I see his great sense of passion and great food, he has written some of my favourite cookery books. To me he is the best chef in the world and has 14 Michelin stars to his name.
"Mary Berry is also one of my all time favourite cookery people as she is on the baking side of the spectrum, which is where I started and my strong points lie.”
The Rotary Young Chef Competition is organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and sponsored by Filippo Berio.
Contestants must prepare a three-course healthy meal, comprising starter, main course and dessert for two people costing less than £15 in two hours. They are judged on their culinary skills, healthy choices, presentation, timing and costing plan along with their work organisation and work practice.
Winners of the District Finals will progress to the Regional Finals with the winner booking their place at the National Final in Wrexham in April. The judges of the Long Eaton heat were Ashley Matthews, Head Chef and proprietor of the White House Sawley, along with Rotarian Jonathan and Susan Toon.