Young Leicestershire chefs cook up success at competition

Great Bowden Academy 10 year old crowned 2024 winner

Left to right: Josh Smalley and Annie Moss

Nine primary school pupils from across the county battled it out to compete for the title of ‘Junior Chef of the Year’.

17 schools across Leicestershire were represented across the whole of the competition, with children from Market Bosworth, Groby, Lubenham and Great Bowden all competing in the final this past Tuesday 25 June. Youngsters there were also from Frisby, Blaby and Measham.

The winner was 10-year-old Annie Moss from Great Bowden Academy after making teriyaki salmon and Japanese style rice for her main alongside a pear and blueberry galette as her dessert. Now crowned as Junior Chef of the Year, she will have her meal recreated at her year six leaver’s lunch. 

Annie Moss said: “I was surprised and shocked but also very proud of myself. I love cooking for my family, and me and my friends always cook together. I also love cooking desserts as I get to eat them at the end!”

Great British Bake Off finalist Josh Smalley was one of the guest judges for the final at Loughborough College. He said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be here and help with the judging. The standard has been incredible – at 10 and 11 years old to producing food like this is just absolutely amazing. 

“They can all consider themselves winners in my eyes. It was very hard to pick a winner and it has been a joy to taste it all.”

Mel Hook, business development manager at Leicestershire County Council said: “A huge congratulations to Annie for cooking up a storm in the kitchen. It was fantastic to bring our Junior Chef of the Year contest back to once again showcase the amazing cooking skills held by young people all across Leicestershire.”

The competition was run by Leicestershire County Council’s Leicestershire Traded Services arm, which provides school food to 170 schools in the county, feeding thousands of children a day.

To find out more about Leicestershire’s Traded Services, contact the team

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