TEENAGERS Keely Wallace and Courtney O’Connor from Newtownabbey Community High School, and Lewis Gallagher and Jade Doyle from Hazelwood Integrated College have been earmarked as budding chefs after making the final of an inter-school cookery competition.
Kitchen Whizz Kids was organised by one of Ireland’s largest catering companies, The Mount Charles Group and was supported by Business in the Community.
Seven schools from the Greater Belfast area participated in the competition, which was aimed at encouraging young people to prepare healthy, creative and well presented two course meals with a budget of £5 per meal.
Each school held their own heats before sending the winning pair to the final, which was held at St Rose’s Dominican College.
The teams had one hour to whip up their meals, before a team of three of The Mount Charles Group’s most experienced chefs judged their efforts.
Marcus Lemon, Food Development Chef at The Mount Charles Group said: “Overall we were very impressed with the standard and variety of meals cooked.
“It goes to show that healthy eating on a budget is totally achievable, it just takes a little imagination, something that each of our finalists obviously have in abundance.”
Fifteen-year-old Courtney O’Connor, from Newtownabbey Community High, commented: “We really enjoyed taking part in the competition and would really encourage others to do so next year.
“It wasn’t difficult to come up with the menu, it just took a bit of thought. We made meatballs in a fresh tomato sauce and a homemade pizza with a ham, cheese, pepper and pineapple topping. We were careful to make sure it was healthy and well within the budget.”
Siobhan Lynch, Commercial Director at The Mount Charles Group added: “We were delighted with the response and level of enthusiasm from each of the participating schools.
“Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining overall health and as these young people have shown, it isn’t difficult or expensive.
“This was the first year for this event and given its success, we’ll definitely consider rolling it out further across Northern Ireland next year.”