Young chef wins place in cook-off

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THE culinary skills of a Lady Lumley’s School pupil has won over local celebrity cheft James Martin - earning him a place in a regional cook-off.

Nathan Bates has been announced as one of the finalists in a national search to find the country’s next top cooking talent for the Red Tractor beef and lamb Make it with Mince Challenge 2012.

After receiving hundreds of entries from across the country, 50 students were shortlisted to take part in six regional heats in the hope of eventually being crowned National Champion of the Make it with Mince Challenge 2012.

James Martin and his fellow judges were blown away by Nathan’s creative dish, Proper Mince Pie with Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips and Carrots.

The youngster will now go on to compete in a regional cook-off against fellow regional finalists in Harrogate on November 12.

James Martin will judge the recipes live and each regional winner will have the chance to be crowned National Champion, winning the money-can’t-buy prize of spending a day with James in London, watching Saturday Kitchen live, meeting the guests and sampling menus at some of the capital’s top restaurants.

James Martin said: “The quality of entries we have received this year has been very impressive. It has been a real challenge choosing our finalists from such a creative and talented group.

“There has been a huge variety in the recipes submitted, from modern versions of traditional dishes to innovative, new recipes. I am really looking forward to the cook-offs and I can’t wait to try the finalist’s beef and lamb mince recipes!

“This competition is something that I passionately support as it is vital that we encourage young people to experiment in the kitchen and develop their understanding of how to purchase, prepare and cook quality food.”

Denise Spencer-Walker, Food Adviser at Red Tractor beef and lamb added: “As always, the standard of this year’s entries has been really high. The finalists should be very proud of themselves for submitting such imaginative recipes and I am sure they will all have a great time at the regional heats this month and inspire other young people to try new skills in the kitchen.”

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