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Ringwood School student wins cookery competition

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: January 05, 2013

Aimee Wiltshire with judges James Golding and Mary Reader

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A 14-year-old student from Ringwood School has cooked up a treat to win a competition run at the school by Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust.

Aimee Wiltshire was one of a group of Year 10 students at the school who took part in the competition in which the students had to cook and present a two-course meal within an hour and a half.

The competition was launched some months ago by Mary Reader, president of Christchurch Food & Wine Festival and a trustee of the Education Trust, along with head chef James Golding from The Pig hotel and restaurant in Brockenhurst.

James came into the school and showed the students how to cook two of his dishes from the current menu - New Forest Pheasant breast with confit duck leg, cabbage bacon and chestnuts with a new forest mushroom and wild garlic sauce as well homemade black pudding with a poached egg on an apple, bacon, and watercress and cider vinaigrette. He talked to them about the importance of using local ingredients and showed some of the produce from the restaurant's own garden.

The students then had to go away and work on their own recipes and the final eight were asked to cook their meal which was judged by James and Mary.

Mary Reader said: "Although the Education Trust usually works in the Christchurch area, we decided to support Ringwood School in this competition as a large number of students come from Christchurch. Last year was the first year we ran the competition and it was very successful. We are very happy to support it again"

"Most of the students taking part had never done this sort of cooking before and had to use techniques which were new to them, so developing their skills.

"It's encouraging to see the huge willingness on the part of the students to get involved in coming up with some very interesting and complicated recipes. It was a very difficult to come up with a winner as so many of the meals were excellent."

Sarah Stewart, head of food technology at Ringwood School, added: "We're very grateful to the Christchurch Food Festival Education Trust for supporting us again in 2012 in this competition and providing encouragement and ideas for the students, as well as some great prizes.

"The students have really raised their game to take part in this competition."

Aimee won with her main course of rabbit wrapped in bacon with dauphinoise potatoes, mustard sauce and seasonal vegetables and a dessert of chocolate brownie served warm with chocolate sauce and raspberries.

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