Future cooking stars!

Is your child a budding chef or food writer? Does he or she love to bake or rustle up something ambitious in the kitchen? I know some children read this column so why not have a go at writing about food yourself?

I have been told about two very exciting competitions for children and I am sure we have some real talent in Hertfordshire, so why not give it a go?

CookIt! is organised by The Guild of Food Writers, and will be judged by a well-known panel of foodies, including Diana Henry, food writer for The Sunday Telegraph. Six finalists will be chosen to attend a cook-off in London in June 2011 at BBC Good Food magazine’s kitchens.

All finalists will receive exciting prizes with the main winner going on a family holiday to a working Jersey dairy farm.

The theme for this year is “In for the skill” and young cooks aged 10-14 are being challenged to create a delicious and imaginative main meal and dessert. The dishes don’t have to be complicated but they must be completely original and show creativity and skill in the kitchen.

The closing date for entries is Thursday 28 April 2011. For an entry form and more details look at http://www.gfw.co.uk. I would be extremely proud if the winner came from our local area. Perhaps you could think about using local produce?

Last year’s winning menu: Anamay Viswanathan (aged 13).

* Spice-roasted lamb, sweet potato bubble and squeak cake with a mint, pea and raspberry foam

* Chocolate basket filled with mint cream and a pistachio basket filled with mango cream.

Sounds delicious!


For aspiring food writers of the future enter the WriteIt! competition. Open to children aged 18 and under, you need to write about 750 words on any food-related subject. It could be about a person or place that inspired your interest in food; a report of a visit to a restaurant, market or food shop; or a campaigning article about a food subject; or even a short story with a food theme. Last year’s winner was 14 year-old Ryan Gruss with an evocative piece about his trip to a Turkish market.

The judges this year will be food writers Bee Wilson, Matthew Fort and Karen Barnes, editor of Delicious magazine. The lucky winner will receive a laptop. The closing date for entries is Friday 13 May 2011. For an entry form and more details look at http://www.gfw.co.uk.

If you win I am sure we can feature you in The Herts Advertiser too!


At St Peters School, St Albans, the children are learning how to cook from a very young age. The infants (aged between 4 to 7) have been learning to make fruit salads, soup and biscuits, and this term they are learning to make fresh pasta, inspired by parent Mr Giannetti. He showed the children how to mix flour and eggs to make a dough. We helped them to knead each piece, and the children then rolled out their dough. The best part was feeding the dough through a pasta machine to make long ribbons for spaghetti or tagliatelle. Everyone was very busy and absorbed in the process, and the children took their work home for tea. These children are too young to enter our competition this year, but I think there may be some stars of the future. Watch out Jamie!





1. CookIt! 2010 Winner Anamay Viswanathan and Andrew Payling Chairman of Quality Milk Producers Ltd


Credit photographer: Geoff Wilkinson, with thanks to BBC Good Food magazine.



2. Mr Giannetti and infants at St Peters School.






About thelocalfoodie

Food writer for The Herts Advertiser.
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