Pupils cook up some real treats for Llanelli Rotary Young Chef competition

Watch your step James Martin and Jamie Oliver; there’s some competition for you on the horizon from the talented schoolchildren of Llanelli.
Llanelli Rotary Club staged their fifth annual Young Chef competition at Brynwgyn School.
“It was a wonderful occasion and a great showpiece for the culinary skills of young Llanelli and Burry Port people,” said Llanelli Rotary President Mark Evans.
The title of Llanelli Rotary Club Young Chef 2017 went to Neo Robinson, a Year 9 pupil at St John Lloyd School.
The winning three-course meal for two consisted of – Starter: Melon and Parma Ham and Melon Crostini. Main course: Marinated Portk Loin with Horse Radish Mashed Potatoes and Fried Asparagus. Dessert: Tiramisu with Orange Coulis
“It was a well planned menu, cooked with a sense of style and well presented,” said the chair of the judging panel Stewart Williams, the development chef at Castell Howell foods.
His judging colleague Caryl Davies, of Llanelly House, was equally impressed.
She said: “All seven contestants worked really hard and coped well with the stress of cooking to a competition deadline. It was a difficult competition to judge, but we were all in agreement and felt that Neo was a very worthy winner.”
The runner-up was Aimee Smith, a Year 10 pupil at Coedcae School.
Her Alice in Wonderland themed menu was – Starter: Goat’s Cheese and Red Onion Walnut Tart. Main course: Teriyaki belly pork and sticky coconut rice, served on a bed of greens. Dessert: Lemon mousse and shortbread biscuit.
The Llanelli competition also doubled up as the Area Rotary Final. The winner received a trophy and now goes forward to the next round of the Rotary competition and a district final in Cowbridge on March 4.
In addition, the winner and runner-up will also get to spend some ‘work experience’ time working in a Llanelli restaurant venue.
All the contestants received souvenir inscribed wooden spoons and aprons.
The winner, Neo Robinson, also received a signed James Martin recipe book.
The judges were - Stewart Williams, Castell Howell, Caryl Davies, Llanelly House, Tom Hylands, Stradey Park Hotel, and Tegan Andrews, a past winner of the Young Chef competition now working at the Stradey Park Hotel.
The MC for the evening was Rotarian Past President Robert Lloyd and the organising team included Rotarians Kevin Jones and Alison Evans. The evening was well attended by Rotarians, family and friends of the contestants and teaching staff. They all got a chance to sample the menus at the end of the competition.
The Young Chef tournament is part of a national competition organised by Rotary International Britain and Ireland RIBI.
One of the organisers of the Llanelli heat of the competition Rotarian Alison Evans said: “RIBI believes it is highly important to encourage and develop creativity in young people, and this includes creativity in the kitchen.
“Cooking among young people is a growing interest and a valuable life skill. Schools seem to agree and hence the RIBI Young Chef competition moves forward from strength to strength each year producing some superb quality cooking from our young people aged from 11 to 17.”
The competition was open to students aged 11 to 17 years. The challenge was to prepare a three-course meal for two people in two hours, with a budget of £15.
Llanelli Rotary President Mark Evans said: “The standard was quite exceptional and the judges were full of praise for the effort, ambition and creative ingenuity of the young chefs.
“Our grateful thanks go to Bryngwyn School for hosting the event, to all the pupils who took part and to the mums, dads and others who turned up on the night to add a real buzz to the competition.”
Other contestants were –
Tamzin Brewer, Year 9, Glanymor School
Ashden Kinally, Year 10, Coedcae School
Archie Price, Year 10, Brynwgyn School
Jessica Price, Year 9, Bryngwyn School
Joei Villanueva, Year 9, St John Lloyd School

R.I.B.I.Young Chef is designed to encourage young people to:

  • Develop cookery skills
  • Develop food presentation skills
  • Consider healthy eating options and food hygiene issues
  • Prove their organisational and planning skills
  • Prove their ability to cope in a demanding situation.



Llanelli Rotary Club President Mark Evans with Young Chef winner Neo Robinson and runner-up Aimee Smith.


The winning meal.


The runner-up meal.


Competition judges – Stewart Williams, Caryl Davies, Tom Hylands and Tegan Andrews.


Back row – Archie Price, Neo Robinson, Ashden Kinally.
Front row – Jessice Price, Tamzin Brewer, Joei Villanueva, Aimee Smith.

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