Stephen wins Young Cook of the Year title

Dairy Council Vice Chairman Harry O'Neill and nutritionist Dr Sharon Madigan congratulate Stephen Matthews (12) from Ballyclare Secondary School on being announced as the overall winner in this year's Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year competition.  Pic by Brian Thompson/ Presseye.com
Dairy Council Vice Chairman Harry O'Neill and nutritionist Dr Sharon Madigan congratulate Stephen Matthews (12) from Ballyclare Secondary School on being announced as the overall winner in this year's Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year competition. Pic by Brian Thompson/ Presseye.com
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Stephen Matthews’ menu for four sporty friends to enjoy before watching their favourite event at the Olympics has won him a hot cookery title.

The Dairy Council NI Young Cook of the Year 2012 contest challenged young cooking enthusiasts to come up with a menu displaying good use of dairy products and locally produced ingredients.

Stephen, a Year 9 pupil at Ballyclare Secondary School, devised a ‘Go for Gold’ two course menu that consisted of an Olympic ring two cheese pizza, chilli wedges, a bistro salad with balsamic dressing in a crispy parmesan nest, and raspberry and white chocolate crème brulee.

Stephen submitted his idea to the Dairy Council and was announced the winner at the Key Stage 3 North Eastern Education and Library Board (NEELB) level.

Then on March 27, the 12-year-old travelled to Banbridge Academy to compete against finalists from the other Education and Library Boards. He had one hour to cook his meal in tense ‘Masterchef’ style conditions.

Stephen impressed the judges with his knowledge, skill and presentation and so was awarded the Winner at Key Stage 3 before going on to secure the prestigious title ‘Dairy Council Young Cook of the Year 2012’.

“This is a tremendous achievement as there were 900 entries from 57 different schools across Northern Ireland,” said his teacher, Ms Duncan.

“Stephen will now enjoy spending his £200 gift vouchers and the Home Economics Department will benefit from a very welcome prize of £850.”