Cheryl Baker backs Young Cooks competition

A star of stage and screen has joined the call for entries to Young Cooks – the annual cookery contest for children and teens.

Singer and television presenter Cheryl Baker is backing the competition which aims to develop a passion for cooking and healthy eating among Kent’s youngsters.

Singer and presenter Cheryl Baker supports Young Cooks
Singer and presenter Cheryl Baker supports Young Cooks

Cheryl, who shot to fame with 80s pop group Bucks Fizz, is an Honorary Patron of the KM Charity Team – the organisers of the Young Cooks contest and is pushing for young people to enter before the November 6 deadline.

The star, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, said: “I presented a children’s cookery programme for five years in the nineties called Eggs ‘n’ Baker, which encouraged children to learn to cook. I wholeheartedly support and encourage children to cook.”

Cheryl, who continues to tour with band mates Jay Aston and Mike Nolan as The Fizz, also appeared in series seven of BBC One’s Celebrity MasterChef.

“I understand the pressure of cooking in a competition,” she said. “But I am sure the children and families invited to the finals of Young Cooks will love the experience.”

Last year's Young Cooks winner, Boglar Godri
Last year's Young Cooks winner, Boglar Godri

To enter, the young chefs prepare a tasty and wholesome meal to a fixed budget and upload their recipe details plus a photograph of the dish to the Young Cooks website. Parents, guardians or school staff are welcome to assist youngsters with completing the simple online form.

The contest is open to those aged between six and 19 years and the three competition categories are: primary school, secondary school, and families - for adult-and-child pairings. The adult accompanying the young cook in the family category can be a family member or guardian, teacher, family liaison officer or special educational needs coordinator.

Entries are judged on presentation, creativity, healthy ingredients, and knowledge of locally-grown Kentish produce.

Primary school entrants are required to cook one dish while those entering the secondary school or family categories must prepare two dishes.

Family category entrant Georgia Holroyd at last year's final
Family category entrant Georgia Holroyd at last year's final

The best entries will earn pupils their places in an exciting MasterChef-style final at East Kent College where they will receive goody bags packed with cooking-related prizes. Finalists will prepare their menus in a professional kitchen for a panel of judges in a bid to win a share of the £500 prize money – and the Champion’s Trophy.

Event organiser Hannah Hawksworth said: “This competition is a great way to encourage an interest in cookery and help children to learn about nutrition and healthy living. The Young Cooks website is packed with information including previous entries for inspiration.”

Judging the entries will be representatives from The Dog at Wingham, Brakes, Kent Catering Service, Southern Co-op, Whole School Meals, Golding Homes, CH and Co, S.E. Medical, Chequers Kitchen, Three R’s Teacher Recruitment, Taylor Meats, Principals by CH&CO, and Macknade Fine Foods.

The competition closes at midnight on Wednesday, November 6 - click here to enter.

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