Search is on for borough's top young chef

Published: 31 October 2016

The council is again scouring the borough’s schools for top cooking talent with the launch of the fourth annual Wandsworth Young Chef of the Year competition.

The inter-school competition run by the Mayor of Wandsworth and the council’s Lifelong Learning Team nurtures young talent, teaches young people how to cook good healthy food to a budget, provides a chance to learn from the experts and helps young people get a foothold in the catering industry.

Each of the schools taking part has a shortlist of competitors, who were invited along to the launch at South Thames College.

Support is being provided by the South Thames College catering school and major catering company Compass, which has been involved with the competition since it launched in 2013. They will provide mentors for the finalists.

Over the next few weeks schools will hold ‘cook-offs’ to choose their finalists, who will compete next spring in the grand final. Along the way they will be taught crucial skills and will be taken to Billingsgate to learn how to select and prepare fish.

This year the council’s Lifelong Learning team have also securing funding from the European Social Fund. This means as well as extra resources for the Young Chef competition, the council will be offering additional support for young people interested in the hospitality sector, including work experiences and help with becoming self-employed.

Mayor of Wandsworth Cllr Richard Field said: “The Wandsworth Young Chef has always proved popular because it gives young people a real taste of what it means to work in a professional kitchen, and enables them to learn from experts in their field.

“This competition and the additional support we’re offering this year means that our young people will be best placed to make the most of the opportunities in the hospitality sector opening up in the Nine Elms regeneration area and elsewhere.

“I hope everyone taking part enjoys themselves and learns as much as they can. I can’t wait to taste the dishes they prepare in the final.”


Notes to Editors

The schools taking part are:

  • St Cecilia’s, Wandsworth
  • Burntwood School
  • Ernest Bevin College
  • Southfields Academy
  • Harris Academy, Battersea