Young hopefuls bid to win Yes Chef competition at the Highcliff Marriott in Bournemouth

Dorset Echo: YOUNG CHEFS: Scott Edwards, Lucy Delamere, Jesse Marais and Jess Burgess YOUNG CHEFS: Scott Edwards, Lucy Delamere, Jesse Marais and Jess Burgess

YOUNG cooks pitted their culinary wits against each other in a bid to win a junior MasterChef style contest.

The Yes Chef competition, which started with 120 students in October, had whittled the field down to just four competitors including Lucy Delamere from the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester.

The final was held at the Highcliff Marriott in Bournemouth.

Matthew Budden, executive chef at the Marriot, said he would be looking for taste, texture, temperature and a good understanding of the basics when judging the youngsters dishes, but said the event would also be a great tool to help give the teens a valuable life skill.

Meanwhile, the finalists were given the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen and experience the rigmarole of preparing cuisine for multiple punters.

GCSE students Lucy Delamere, Jesse Marais, Jess Burgess and Scott Edwards started work at 9.30am before serving up meals for 15 people each.

For Lucy, it was even more of a challenge than usual after she was forced to cook one-handed following a ski trip which ended in her badly injuring her arm.

Scott, who attends Ferndown Upper, was the only boy left and said it was a brilliant opportunity for him to take part as he has dreams of becoming a chef.

It was a second consecutive final appearance for Jess, who attends Lytchett Minster School, and aspiring photographer Jesse, of Bournemouth Collegiate, said it had been a positive experience.

Scott was eventually crowned the winner and will receive the honour of opening the Bournemouth food festival along with a professional set of kitchen knives to kick-start his career.

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