A Welwyn Garden City school pupil has won the coveted Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef award after impressing with her Jamaican-inspired food.

10-year-old Lily, from Homerswood Primary and Nursery School, was one of four finalists who presented her cooking to a team of judges at Ridgeway Academy last Thursday.

They were wowed by her main course of jerk chicken wings with garlic baby potatoes, sautéed courgettes and home made coleslaw, and also loved her carrot and coriander soup, mango passion mousse dessert and a mojito mocktail.

TV Chef Patti Sloley was among the judges, and she believed Lily "stood out" from the rest of the competition.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Lily impressed the judges with her jerk chicken wings with garlic baby potatoes, sautéed courgettes and home made coleslawLily impressed the judges with her jerk chicken wings with garlic baby potatoes, sautéed courgettes and home made coleslaw (Image: Katharine Tate)

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"All the children were fantastic and I can’t wait till these children open their own restaurants," she said. 

"It was a challenge finding a winner but Lily stood out for the fantastic flavour of her food and the balance on her plate."

Founded in 2017 by The Food Teacher, the award aims to improve long-term health by educating children about food and nutrition.

Welwyn Garden City Rotary Club have supported the award for the past four years, with former president Coral Walton among the judges.

She was delighted to be able to support the event, saying: "Welwyn Garden City Rotary Club were only too pleased to grab the opportunity of supporting The Food Teacher and their excellent work by judging at the event.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The Young Chef award has been running since 2017.The Young Chef award has been running since 2017. (Image: Katharine Tate)

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"For the last 30 years, we have organised a local heat of the Rotary Young Chef competition for secondary age students and this is a perfect complement to that.

"We hope to see these finalists competing in the Rotary event in a couple of years."

Pupils from St Michael's Primary School in Woolmer Green also competed, with teacher Claire Woods adding: "From start to finish the process of the Young Chef award was a brilliant experience for the children.

"They loved learning new skills and preparing a variety of different foods. 

"As a teacher having completed the awards for the last four years, I find the project well resourced and very organised and I thoroughly enjoy the experience. We are already signed up for next year."

Homerswood Teacher, Lucy Pattie, continued: "The six-session programme is a great way to get the children excited about preparing food, with a clear goal they can work towards.

"It is lovely for the children to practice a variety of skills such as chopping, peeling, grating and shredding to help them with the task of planning their own three-course meal.

"Being able to taste what they have prepared at the end of each lesson means they can appreciate how different flavours work together and get excited about using fresh and seasonal produce."