Young chefs found the recipe for success when they scooped awards in a culinary competition.

Highbury College students Harry Cotten and Leeam Simpson who are both completing Level 2 qualifications in Professional Cookery each won the top prize in Hampshire Fare’s Great British Biscotti Recipe competition.

The two aspiring chefs beat dozens of other entrants after hearing about the competition through their teacher, Chef Lecturer Matt Sussex.

Leeam came up with an award-winning Indian Spice Biscotti recipe featuring a tasty cauliflower puree with curry oil and micro coriander, topped with an onion bhaji. The recipe uses fresh vegetables from the Pickwell Farm shop in Netley.

Meanwhile, Harry Cotten also impressed judged with his Chorizo and Parmesan Biscotti recipe featuring smoked trout, pea puree, pickled cucumber and micro watercress. The recipe uses trout from Chalk Stream Foods in Romsey.

Harry, 16, from Hilsea who is currently in his first year of the course said: “I’m really happy that I have won this competition.

“I want to work in a restaurant when I finish my course so it is fantastic that I am already getting some recognition.

“I heard about the competition through the College and came up with my recipe especially.”

Leeam, 17, from Fareham added: “I was surprised and excited when I found out I had won. It’s a great start to my career.

“The ingredients I used jumped out at me because I wanted to come up with something a little different and I was really pleased with the result.”

Leeam and Harry both won mixed boxes of Great British Biscotti.

Paul Rostand of The Great British Biscotti Company said: “Our thanks to everyone involved – to Hampshire Fare for coming up with the idea for this competition and organising it and to the colleges and the students who created some really innovative and exciting flavour combinations. We were very impressed with the high standard of entries.”

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare, added: “We have been really pleased with the great response to this quirky new competition which has succeeded in inspiring the 16-plus age group.

“Traditionally, Hampshire Fare has had a great deal of success during British Food Fortnight engaging with primary schools, so we feel very encouraged to have had such a positive response from an older age group and we intend building on this in future.”

Leeam and Harry can normally be found at Highbury College’s professional training facilities at the Highbury City of Portsmouth Centre which include a pastry kitchen, an international kitchen, a larder kitchen and three specialist training kitchens.

Catering students also help run two commercial restaurants including its popular Chimes Restaurant in Winston Churchill Avenue.

For more information about catering courses at Highbury College click here.

These courses could lead to a career as a head chef earning up to £30,000 or £100,000 in a top city hotel or as a full-time waiter or waitress earning around £11,900 to £17,000.

Article Details

  • Date 16/10/2017