THEY CAME…they cooked and they conquered.
Eighteen bright young hopefuls spent 90 hectic minutes labouring over hot stoves in a bid to win the converted Saddleworth School’s Junior Master Chef title.
The finalists were whittled down from the original 54 entrants – with only one boys team making it to the final cook-off before a panel of judges including school head Matthew Milburn.
The main course had to be based on a chicken recipe while desserts were focussed on pasty or cake-based ingredients to – giving the budding chefs a chance to demonstrate their culinary flair.
Dishes ranged from ingenious tasty curries to high-flown Mexican chicken with tortilla chips followed by an assortment of stylish, delicate sweets, including lemon meringue and chocolate cake.
Prizes of vouchers were awarded by Mr Milburn and the other judges, Pam Byrne, a school governor and former Uppermill restaurant owner, and Richard Dixon, a chef at The White Hart in Lydgate.
During the final, they advised and offered tips of encouragement to the keen chefs, aged 14-15, who are studying towards their GCSEs.
Ellie Saxon and Georgina Roebuck claimed top prize, Ruby Duncan and Hannah Bradbury came second and third prize was shared by Sarah Hayes and Daisy Keep; Mia Higham and Daisy Moss.
Mr Milburn praised all the entrants, telling the young chefs: “You really are all winners. You created a spectacular feast for the eyes. It has been a terrific, fun contest.”