Cracker Pack 2019
Darrin Hosegrove, Maia English, Michael Caines and Hywel Jones

Young chefs lead the way

Budding chefs showed an exceptional level of talent when they competed in the junior class of the South West Chef of the Year, held on Saturday 19th October at Ashburton Cookery School.

The future stars of the catering industry, aged between 11 and 16, had to impress Michael Caines MBE of Gidleigh Park and ABode Hotels, Darrin Hosegrove of Ashburton Cookery School and Hywel Jones of Lucknam Park, Bath who judged their culinary skills.

Finalists included; Jamie Swan from The Roseland Community College, Truro, Cornwall who cooked Woodland Valley pork chop on sweet potato and carrot mash with a honey and mustard dressing, Ellie Kamei from Lavington School, Wiltshire who cooked venison medallions on a bed of celeriac mash served with Chantenay carrots, sautéed savoy cabbage and a red wine and blackberry jus, and Frank Rooke-Matthews of Bournside School, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire who prepared tomato, mozzarella and dry cured bacon tortellini.

But it was 15-year old Maia English, a pupil at the King’s School, Ottery St Mary, Devon who was crowned winner with her prepared caramelised Brixham scallops with celeriac purée and crispy pancetta.

“It is so encouraging to see such enthusiasm and an exceptional standard of cooking among such young cooks,” commented Darrin Hosegrove, Chef Director of Ashburton Cookery School. “The range of skills they showed and their focus on the task in hand made it a very tough competition to judge.”

Maia won a Thermomix food processor, a Robert Welsh chef’s knife, an Oliver Harvey chef’s jacket and a meal for two at Hix Oyster and Fish House in Lyme Regis, and will be given the chance to do work experience with David Everitt-Matthias.

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