The Young Chef competition is run by the Mayor of Wandsworth and Wandsworth council’s lifelong learning team in association with borough schools. It nurtures young talent, teaches young people how to cook good healthy food to a budget, provides a chance to learn from the experts and helps young people get a foothold in the catering industry.

Each of the eight finalists won high street vouchers, with Rose Picicco, who attends Southfields Academy, scooping the top prize of £130 and a crystal trophy.  The other finalists were: Zakareya Ahmad ( Ernest Bevin), May Newkey-Burden (Burntwood School), Yafiet Binyam (Ernest Bevin College), Raheela Aslam (Ark Putney Academy), Farnaz Abubaka (Ark Putney Academy), Jamiee Hyacinth (Chestnut Grove) and Jada Burrell-Powell (St Cecilia’s).

The finalists then took part in the Mayor of Wandsworth’s Young Chef of the Year 2018 Charity Dinner. Students will got the chance to work with Daksha Mistry, former Master Chef finalist, on preparing dinner for the evening.

As part of the competition, the young people involved have already benefited from attending two masterclasses at Billingsgate Seafood School and top London restaurant The Brigade.

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Support for the competition was provided by the South Thames College catering school and major catering company Compass Group UK & Ireland, which has been involved with the competition since it launched in 2013. Chefs from Compass Group UK & Ireland judged the final, overseen by Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, Nick Vadis.

Nick Vadis said: “The standard just gets better and better each year.  I am delighted to be part of the initiative with Wandsworth and I can’t praise each of these young people enough.  We have seen some real talent developing through this competition and the finalists here today have demonstrated that they have what it takes to work in the hospitality industry.”

“I hope taking part in this competition has inspired the borough’s young aspiring chefs. The dishes they created for the final were outstanding, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with for the Charity Dinner.”
Cllr Leslie McDonnell, Mayor of Wandsworth

The schools who took part are:

St Cecilia’s, Wandsworth
Burntwood School
Ernest Bevin College
Southfields Academy
Ark Putney Academy
Chestnut Grove