BUDDING chefs stunned judges with their culinary skills and creations at the Rotary Young Chef Challenge.
Students from Steyning Grammar School and The Towers Convent School in Upper Beeding donned their aprons as part of this year’s Steyning and District Food and Drink Festival.
They were competing in the Steyning and Henfield Rotary Club heat, battling for a place in the next round of the national challenge.
Judges were Kate Gover from Kate’s Cookhouse in Steyning and Mark Burdon from The Fountain at Ashurst.
They said they were looking for exciting dishes made with healthy, locally-produced ingredients and scoring the presentation, taste and balance of dishes from the budding chefs.
Mark complemented the students and said he would be delighted to see them in his kitchen at any time.
Kate added that the high standard of food produced led to some very difficult choices.
Martin Leigh-Pollitt, speaking on behalf of Steyning and Henfield Rotary Club, said he would have been delighted to spend good money if the dishes were available in a restaurant.
“The standard seems to get higher each year,” he added.
Winner Harriet Thornton received a prize of £40 and Hollie Anderson, in second place, won £20. They have also been invited to take part in the district semi-finals.
Poppy Moore and Daniel Katz were both highly commended.
Louise Lamb, from Steyning Grammar, and Sarah May, from The Towers, heads of food technology at the two schools, said the students were very calm and collected during the competition.
“The students did it entirely on their own. They really pulled out the stops and produced a fantastic choice of attractive, tasty dishes. Everyone was very impressed.”