Drapers’ student announced as Havering Young Chef of the Year

The winners and runners up of the Havering Young Chef of the Year competition. Front L-R: Holly Fay,

The winners and runners up of the Havering Young Chef of the Year competition. Front L-R: Holly Fay, Sofia Negri, Sophie Ferrier and Anneliese McAplin. Back L-R: Mark Smithers, Glenn Norman, Paul Gayler MBE and Pauline Franckel - Credit: K Canham

Four teenage girls battled one another to be crowned the Havering Young Chef of the Year last week in a spice-filled cook-off.

Havering Young Chef of the Year judges, Glenn Norman and Paul Gayler MBE, with taste testing from th

Havering Young Chef of the Year judges, Glenn Norman and Paul Gayler MBE, with taste testing from the Recorder's Hayley Anderson - Credit: K Canham

Havering college hosted the competition which was judged by world-renowned high end chef and local lad, Paul Gayler, who has awarded an MBE for his work in 2012, and Glenn Norman, the Head Chef of one of Essex’s finest restaurants, Mason’s in Brentwood.

With such big names critiquing the dishes, the pressure was on for the young students to deliver a professional standard meal.

The top honour was given to 15-year-old Drapers’ Academy student, Sophie Ferrier, who wowed the judges with her own ding ding beef curry and wild rice followed by a creamy cinnamon creme caramel desert.

“I couldn’t believe it when I won,” gushed Sophie who was stuck to her seat in shock when her name was announced.

Havering Young Chef of the Year runner up Anneliese McAplin cooking her desert

Havering Young Chef of the Year runner up Anneliese McAplin cooking her desert - Credit: K Canham


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“The other girls were all so good and I just didn’t think it was going to be my name they called.”

The runners-up were Sophia Negri, 13, of Brentwood County High School, Holly Fay and Annaliese McAplin, both 16 and both of the Sacred Heart of Mary Girls’ School in Upminster.

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Sophia presented a wonderful teriyaki salmon followed by a chocolate mousse and peanut biscuits.

Holly served up a delicious Moroccan lamb with cous cous and a chocolate ganache with cream and strawberries.

Havering Young Chef of the Year runner up Holly Fay making her desert

Havering Young Chef of the Year runner up Holly Fay making her desert - Credit: K Canham

Finally the judges were treated to Anneliese’s sweet potato and prawn curry with naan bread and a desert of rich hot chocolate soufflé.

The contestants, their families and the judges were all invited to a slap up meal at the college’s Jubilee restaurant, cooked and served by students, where the winner was announced.

Sophie will also be joining Havering College as a student next year.

Havering Young Chef of the Year winner, Sophie Ferrier, making the winning Ding Ding beef curry.

Havering Young Chef of the Year winner, Sophie Ferrier, making the winning Ding Ding beef curry. - Credit: K Canham

Havering Young Chef of the Year Sophia Negri making her main course

Havering Young Chef of the Year Sophia Negri making her main course - Credit: K Canham

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