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.

Tom Weetman 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, alongside Chef Director James Golding from The Pig Group of Hotels.

James came into Ringwood School and showed the students how to prepare dishes from his award winning menu from The Pig in Brockenhurst. He talked to them about the importance of using local ingredients and showed some of the produce from the restaurant’s own garden such as beetroot and kale, alongside fresh pappardelle pasta, and their own smoked fish and salami.

The students then had to go away and work on their own recipes and the final 8 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 do come from the Christchurch area such as Burton and Bransgore. This is the fifth year we have ran the competition and it is 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 2016 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.”

Tom’s winning menu of Asian chicken skewers, served with stir fry vegetables, and rice followed by a fruit tartlet wowed the judges with his great flavours & presentation.