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Isabella crowned Junior Chef of the Year

Youngster beats 39 others to win annual cooking competition

Isabella Rackham-Sayer was crowned Junior Chef of the Year 2018
Isabella Rackham-Sayer, pictured with Jackie Manship, impressed judges with her two course menu

A North-West Leicestershire youngster proved she could stand the heat in the kitchen after being crowned Junior Chef of the Year 2018.

Isabella Rackham-Sayer, aged 10, from St Hardulph’s Primary School, Breedon on the Hill, was awarded the coveted prize by our school food service after her two-course menu impressed judges at the final, held at Leicester College on 7 June.


I entered the competition because I enjoy cooking. I’m always asked by my Mum what I can make. I mostly like to make cakes but my speciality is banana and chocolate bread.

“I loved cooking in the competition and was surprised that I won, as everyone else was really good.


Isabella’s meals demonstrated excellent culinary skills as she served up Mexican tortilla bake, crispy potatoes, mixed salad and sun dried tomato focaccia followed by white chocolate and raspberry blondies with a fruit coulis.

Having impressed a panel of judges, which included the likes of Andy Greasley, former contestant on MasterChef: The Professionals and senior dietician Paula Mckee, the winning dishes will now be added to the next Leicestershire Traded Services catering services school menu.

Isabella follows in the footsteps of Tiana Dhorajia, from The Hall Primary School, Glenfield, who won the competition last year.


Congratulations to Isabella and all the chefs involved who did really well to reach the finals.

“It was clear that Isabella has a real passion for cooking and the judges thought she showed creativity, enthusiasm and an ability to work under pressure.

“The competition is a great way for young chefs to showcase their cooking skills.


The finalists were put to the test during a series of heats organised at their schools by the council before six finalists were selected to appear in the final.

The competition has been running for four years and is gaining momentum each year with hundreds of entries to date.

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