Sidmouth College students are Masterchef winners

Waitrose launches Masterchef contest for Sidmouth College students

TWO 13-year-old friends are Waitrose’s first Masterchefs after inventing and cooking a two-course meal.

On Friday, Alice Barrett from Budleigh Salterton and Emily Woodruff from Sidbury, proved to teachers and Waitrose bosses they deserved the title, by cooking 18 servings of herb salmon on spinach with dauphinoise potatoes, followed by Bramley apple and cinnamon cobbler.

The girls beat 36 other entrants from Years 7-9 at Sidmouth College after the Stowford Rise supermarket launched its Masterchef contest to foster better connection between the store and college.

They were encouraged by Julia Lee, head of technology, who with acting principal Julie Capewell, was among those to savour Alice and Emily’s cooking. Branch manager Mark Shepherd, Ben Ponting, one of four judges, Herald news editor Di Bowerman and Margaret Edwards-Hughes, the store’s Community Matters co-ordinator also enjoyed the meal.

Entrants set out nutritional values in their recipes and the winners took over Waitrose chef Phil Thorne’s kitchen for three hours, given guidance by him and helper Julie Avery.

Ben said the girls’ original recipe fitted the judges’ criteria well. Phil, also a judge, added: “They were great, their dish was very good and they are talented cooks. I liked their use of spinach. They were well practised.”

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The girls, who tested their recipes out on family before their big day, said: “We are really pleased and excited at winning.” Both may study for their GCSE food tech exams.

Mrs Capewell thought the Masterchef contest a wonderful idea and said: “It takes the school into the real world and I am tremendously grateful to Waitrose for organising this. I love that youngsters can look at work with a fresh eye and come here to cook for adults.” All contestants won prizes for entering.