SLIDESHOW: Young chefs cook up a storm at Rotary Young Chef competition

A TEENAGER from Kirkby has proved that he can stand the heat of the kitchen after winning the latest stage of a national cookery contest.

Budding chef Conan Brooks (16) beat six other contestants on day two of the district stage of the Rotary Young Chef Competition and he scooped a £50 and a trophy, along with a certificate and cookery book.

On the first day of the event, which took place at the Charnwood Training Academy at Kirkby’s Ashfield School last week, 17–year-old Danielle Easton from the Bretby Rotary Club won against five other contestants.

In the competition, the chefs had to source their own ingredients before preparing and cooking a three-course meal. They also created a table setting for two people.

Conan, who is a student at Ashfield School, chose roast pigeon breast on a bed of celeriac remoulade for the starter, followed by honey glazed duck breast on pink grapefruit salad for the main and a dessert of beetroot parfait with chocolate brittle jelly and beetroot jam.

Rotary District Governor Dave Ashley, who presented the prizes, said: “I never cease to be amazed at how well these young people perform under pressure.”

The event was hosted by Charnwood Training, which provides catering and hospitality training, and Kirkby Rotary Club.

Mike Lee, who is president of the Kirkby Rotary Club, said: “For many years the club has supported the work of youngsters in schools and colleges, and we’re delighted with the success of this event.”

The 13 participants in the two-day event were winners from the earlier local stage of the competition organised by individual Rotary clubs in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Conan and Danielle will go forward to the regional final on 23rd March to compete against young cooks from all over the Midlands, and the successful entrant will progress to the national final.

As well as his success at the Rotary Young Chef competition, Conan recently secured work experience at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons restaurant in Oxfordshire, which has two Michelin stars.