Ten pupils from five schools in Harrow, Brent and Barnet gathered at the College of North West London, Wembley, on Wednesday last week, with hopes of becoming the next Gordon Ramsey or Delia Smith.
The mayors of Brent, Harrow and Barnet were VIP guests during the afternoon of cookery as part of the Rotary International Young Chef North West London area final competition.
Aspiring chefs from Christ’s College in Finchley, St James RC High School in Colindale, Nower Hill High School in Pinner, Kingsbury High School in Kingsbury and Bentley Wood Girls High School in Stanmore turned up the heat and prepared a two-course meal in 75 minutes, then laid a table in the training restaurant and presented their dished to the judges.
Vicki Fagg, principal at the College of North West London, said: “We offer the most up-to-date training kitchen facilities at the revamped Wembley Park campus.
“They are the future of catering and, after seeing the facilities we offer, they could well be the future of our college too.”
Olivia Taiwo, 14, from Kingsbury High School, was named as the winner with her two-course menu of mushroom and prosciutto ravioli in a sage butter sauce, with asparagus and herb jus, and a pear and butterscotch frangipane tart with butterscotch sauce, clotted cream and a caramel shard.
Olivia said: “I’m very happy and excited. It has taken a month to prepare my menu. My ambition is one day to become a pastry chef.
“I would recommend cookery to others.”
The runner-up was 14-year-old Ciaran Black from St James’ Catholic High School in Colindale.
Olivia and Ciaran will both represent their schools in the London final in Westminster on Saturday.