It was the final of our Greens to Gourmet competition this week. Six young chefs from schools across Birmingham and the West Midlands wowed the judges with their own healthy and tasty creations, but there could only be one winner!
We would like to congratulate 14-year-old Demarni Rowe, a student from the City of Birmingham School, who impressed the judges with some delicious Jamaican Jerk Salmon patties on a bed of seasoned roasted vegetables to take home the top prize of an exclusive paid-for family meal at Simpsons Restaurant and cooking experience at the Simpsons Cookery School.
The final was held at the Harborne Food School on Wednesday 12th October where the group of food and technology students were challenged to impress the judging panel made up of last year’s winner Tre Whitlock from Wheeler’s Technology College, award-winning Chef Director Luke Tipping from Birmingham’s top Michelin-star restaurant, Simpsons, Paul Fulford, Birmingham Restaurant Critic and Michael Loach, Catering IQA at Busy Bees Training.
Our Greens to Gourmet competition began earlier this year when students were challenged to create dishes from one of two mystery bags, filled with healthy, seasonal ingredients. The most successful made it through to preliminary heats and then on to the final.
Following his victory, Demarni said: “I felt like crying when I found out I had won – I honestly didn’t expect it at all! I just wanted to make my mum and family proud and I hope I’ve managed to do that. I would like to go on to pursue a career as a chef; it’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing and my dad is a chef too, so it would be great to follow in his footsteps one day!.”
Speaking about the winning dish, Luke commented: “All the finalists were great today and it was close to call but Demarni deserved to win as he took the ingredients and put his own spin on the dish using his cultural roots. The salmon patties were very unique and there was a nice balance to the seasoning. It was wonderful to see each of the young chefs’ commitment to producing quality, fresh food and if they continue to show the same level of determination then I’m sure they’ll go on to make great chefs one day.”
Training Manager at Busy Bees Early Years Training Academy, Fay Gibbin, said: “This year’s competition was even better and bigger than last year’s. We’re already looking forward to next year’s and we’d love to hear from schools in and around Birmingham who would like to take part.
“After two successful Greens to Gourmet competitions we are already eagerly anticipating the next!”