Who will be Welwyn Hatfield's Young Chef of the Year?

Budding cooks are preparing for the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of the Year award.

Budding cooks are preparing for the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of the Year award. - Credit: Rob Lock Photography

The aprons are ironed, the spoons are polished, and the recipes are ready - it's soon time for the final of the Welwyn Hatfield Young Chef of the Year award.

Over the past few months and for the third year running, schools across the borough have been preparing their pupils for the award, which culminates in a grand final on Wednesday July 13.

Finalists aged nine to 11 finalists will be competing at the event, which is hosted by Ridgeway Academy and sponsored by WGC Rotary Club, and are tasked with cooking sumptuous menus to wow the judges.

The award is a project developed by the team at Herts-based The Food Teacher to improve long-term health by educating children about food and nutrition.

It is supported by the College of Medicine and has received accreditation from the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission.

The award involves pupils planning and creating a three course ‘Meal for their Hero’. They have learned about making healthy food choices, chef skills, seasonality, cooking methods, food hygiene and safety and where food comes from.

The award is mapped to the Cooking and Nutrition curriculum with links to English, mathematics, science, geography, and personal social and health education.

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It was first launched in 2017 in Lancashire through the Healthier Fleetwood initiative, but has since been rolled out elsewhere across the country.

It is supported locally by educational consultant Herts for Learning, and lead wellbeing advisor Karin Hutchinson explained: “All our pupils need to learn that eating the right food can bring about major health benefits both physically and mentally.

"The Young Chef of the Year Award provides an exciting context for this learning and Herts for Learning are happy to recommend it to schools.”

A spokesperson for The Food Teacher added: “Teaching children the importance of food for their health is essential and this challenge provides that opportunity within a practical, purposeful and engaging context.”

For further information about the award, for recipes to try at home and for information about the younger (ages 6-7) and youngest (ages 3+) chef programmes visit youngchefoftheyear.com