Superchef Shannon is Ayrshire cook champ
Youngsters from secondary schools in East, North and South Ayrshire competed in a hard-fought final at the Cook School Scotland, Kilmarnock, in a bid to be crowned all-Ayrshire cook champ.
And it was an East Ayrshire victory, thanks to the culinary expertise of Shannon Gallacher, 14, of Loudoun Academy, who garnered particular praise for her winning ways with chicken.
Chef Derek Donaldson of the Blythswood Hotel in Glasgow even admitted he couldn’t have cooked it better himself.
Runners-up were Gemma Ambrosini of St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats and Jennifer Veitch, of Belmont Academy, Ayr.
The cook-off was for S3 pupils studying Home Economics/Hospitality. Budding young chefs from each area had made it through previous heats to the final, against stiff culinary competition for the master chef prize.
Awarding the trophies, Craig Stevenson, managing director of Braehead Foods, praised the performance and enthusiasm of the youngsters. He said: “We initiated the competition last year with East Ayrshire. This year we branched out to include North and South Ayrshire, providing an exciting opportunity for young people to work with and learn from experienced chefs”.
Craig is one of the business leaders backing East Ayrshire Council’s £1 million business enterprise programme in secondary schools, which aims to help make pupils ‘business ready’.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “I was delighted to welcome young people from North and South Ayrshire to the final in Kilmarnock. It was a bonus that the winner was a local one – so congratulations to Shannon for her brilliant performance and well-deserved success.
“It was a great pleasure to see the very high standard of results. I know the chefs were impressed by all the young people, who coped extremely well in new surroundings and managed to prepare delicious dishes on limited budgets.
“Partnerships between schools and mentors such as Craig Stevenson are helping to prepare our pupils for employment, by working in real-life situations with the best in the business”.
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