Talented students showed their skills in the biggest and best Rotary Young Chef competition ever staged.

Nine students from Northallerton School & Sixth Form College and Bedale High School battled against the clock in the annual culinary challenge organised by Northallerton Mowbray Rotary Club.

Each of the year ten students was tasked with producing a healthy two-course meal in two hours, with a tight budget for ingredients.


The winner was Sophie Hilton, from Northallerton School & Sixth Form College, who impressed the judges with her dish of hanging kebabs and chocolate brownies. It was a close-run thing, however, with Sophie claiming the title by just one point.

“This in undoubtedly the highest standard of cooking we have seen in the 15 years of this competition,” said ex-RAF Flight Warrant Officer Nick Wright, formerly of the RAF Leeming Catering team, who chaired the judging panel.


“Today’s finalists deserve the very highest praise because they made our job incredibly difficult. What really impressed us was the ingenuity behind their menu choices and the skills they applied to deliver them.

“The highest compliment I can pay these students is to say that any professional chef would be proud to deliver dishes of this quality.”

Winner Sophie was presented with a cookbook by Northallerton Mowbray Rotary Club president Anne Ash, and all the students received certificates to reward their efforts. An initial 22 students from both schools entered the competition, another record.

Rotary youth chair Kevin Hardisty thanked the schools for helping to organise the competition. “These finals have become a major highlight of the Rotary year and are going from strength to strength,” he said.

“We’re very grateful to the teachers who put in so much hard work behind the scenes and to the students who consistently excel with their skills and enthusiasm.”

Also on the judging panel were Rotarians John Foster, Sue Adsett and Anne Wall.