Cooking skill

A TAUNTON student has become the South West Junior Chef of the Year.

Munopa Nhete, a Year 10 from Queen's College, won the final at Ashburton Cookery School in Devon with a dish of cooked sea bass, roasted fennel, prawn tortellini, white wine sauce and a herb oil.

The competition involved making a main meal for two people using local ingredients.

To qualify, Munopa won the County Final at Taunton and Bridgwater College in July.

The judges at the last stage of the competition were extremely impressed with all six finalists, saying they believed the standard of cooking was probably the highest they had seen in the junior final so far and were unanimous in the agreement that Munopa’s dish stood out.

"She has an obvious understanding of ingredients and flavours and the techniques to create an amazing plate of food," said Julie Harvey, director of South West Chef of the Year.

Food and nutrition teacher, Yvonne Mackey said: "Munopa is an extremely skilled and hardworking GCSE student. She is very keen and I am very fortunate to have such talent in my group.

"Our thanks go to our executive chef, Denis Turner, who trained Munopa for the County Final and to her mentor, Liam Finnegan, head chef at the Castle Hotel in Taunton who spent many hours with Munopa to prepare for the final."

Munopa was delighted with her win and agreed that practise makes perfect.

She said: "The long days and practice sessions were worth it"