Millie is Northamptonshire’s Budding Chef 201001 Sep

The quest to find Northamptonshire’s Budding Chef 2010 has concluded with Millie Howell, aged 9 from Irchester scooping the title.

The competition launched by Shires Cookery School, in association with the Herald & Post was created to  find all the budding chefs in the county.

Children aged 8-11 years from across the county were encouraged to write a two course menu that demonstrated the Taste of Summer, where possible using local ingredients, and show an understanding of the nutritional value of their dishes. The judges selected Millie as the winner, they felt she had provided all the recipe information needed and the supporting narrative that bought her recipes to life. Competition organiser, Wendy Carter said ‘Millie was a worthy winner, her recipes fulfilled all the criteria, and she clearly explained the inspiration for her menu.

Millie was invited to cook her dishes at the Holdenby Foodshow on bank holiday Monday, assisted by Richard Curtis, senior lecturer from Northampton College. A slightly apprehensive Millie took to the stage and charmed the audience by demonstrating her main course, chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella cheese, served with roasted garlic,red pepper and onion, cooked with mixed herbs and fresh basil, served on a bed of fresh linguini pasta. Millie’s Greek style dessert was a real crowd pleaser, with lots of fresh fruit, drizzled with local honey and Greek yoghurt, crushed walnuts sprinkled on top completed the dish.

Millie said ‘My menu reminds me of nice summer weather and my holiday in Greece. Some of my ingredients can be picked from my Mum and Dads garden and a lot of it is seasonal. You can also use local honey. It has over 6 portions of fruit & vegetables and is low in fat. Live yogurt is also very good for you.’ Mum Lisa said ‘ Despite Millie’s initial shyness she really did enjoy it and it was a great experience for her and us’

Megan Loosley, from Towcester secured the runners up position and also had the opportunity to cook her recipes, assisted by national chef competition winner Bethany Dare. Aged 15, Bethany has already started to build a blossoming culinary career by beating over 8,000 other youngsters, through four stages, into the final of the Future Chef competition.

She said she’s was delighted to be passing on some of her own experience to Megan, whose main course included local pork sausages, fresh garden vegetables, covered in a honey and mustard dressing, with a mouthwatering Strawberry mess meringue dessert.

Megan said ‘Sausages make me feel like summer barbeques in the garden and the honey reminds me of sticky sweet fruit and the busy bees making honey from all the summer flowers.

Fresh summer strawberries always taste better at this time of year, especially with extra helpings of cream. The sausages have iron, also the vegetables and the strawberries have vitamins’. Megan very studiously prepared her strawberry dessert, which the audience sampled and clearly enjoyed.

Both girls received gift vouchers from Abraxas Cookshop, prizes were also donated by Brampton Stables, Colemans Stationers, and Cineworld. As overall winner, Millie’s school will receive £200 cheque from Shires cookery School to buy kitchen equipment. Plus Waitrose Kingsthorpe branch will be delivering a healthy breakfast hamper for Millie and her class friends to enjoy. Wendy, owner of Shires Cookery School said ‘Overall I am delighted with how the competition has gone and we will be starting the search for our 2011 winner later in the year.

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