Young talent revealed at cook-off

Billingshurst Primary School Cook Off winners Holly Hunter, eight, and Milly Dixon, five, pose with judges Mark Sheath, Morgan Rees, Blaise Tapp, Helem Williamson and Nikki James SUS-140520-144959001

Billingshurst Primary School Cook Off winners Holly Hunter, eight, and Milly Dixon, five, pose with judges Mark Sheath, Morgan Rees, Blaise Tapp, Helem Williamson and Nikki James SUS-140520-144959001

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Move over Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay, the real culinary talent is here in West Sussex.

Dozens of budding young chefs took part in the Great Billingshurst Cook-Off at the village’s primary school - a competition which will result in their offerings committed to history as every entrant’s recipe is to be included in a special cookbook.

In a contest which would test the finest of food critics the youngsters at the Station Road primary school submitted a range of fabulous homemade inventions including delicious chocolate cake, muffins, cookies, even Oriental-style ribs red onion and sausage quiche

The entries tested the tastebuds of the judges, who included Billingshurst Primary School’s headteacher Helen Williamson, Mark Sheath of local company Jengers Craft Bakery, manager of the village’s Kavanagh’s Budgens store Morgan Rees, Nikki James from Cubbitt and West estate agent and the West Sussex County Times’ head of commissioned content Blaise Tapp.

The standard of entries was very high and the judges struggled to pick winners but eventually two girls - Milly Dixon of Year R and Year Three Pupil Holly Hunter were crowned the best cooks in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two groups respectively.

Five-year-old Milly’s sticky onion tart was a savoury treat which impressed all five judges while Holly’s lemon and raspberry and lemon polenta cupcake not only tasted divine but came with a heartwarming story.

Holly, eight, decided to make the cupcakes with polenta after her sister was recently diagnosed with coeliac disease, which means sufferers have an adverse reaction to gluten.

Mr Sheath, who has recently taken over the Jengers Mead bakery said: “I have been most impressed by the innovation and creativity of the entries.”

Miss Williamson said: “The children created some fantastic taste sensations during the cook-off and the event provided an important opportunity for us to discuss nutrition and meal planning.”

Mr Rees said: “We are delighted to support the creation of this unique recipe book and make the cookbook available to the community.

“As part of the judging panel I had the wonderful task of sampling some real treats, it’s a fantastic opportunity to capture some special recipes which have been handed down through families.”

The recipe book will be available to buy from Billingshurst Primary School, Kavanagh’s Budgens, Jengers Craft Bakery and at Cubitt and West priced £6.