Chef Heather can stand the heat...

Olivia Park, Heather Nisbet and Skye Punchard stood out at the event
Olivia Park, Heather Nisbet and Skye Punchard stood out at the event

The heat was on at Mackie Academy last week as the Rotary Club of Stonehaven held its local round of the RIBI Young Chef competition.

In total, 6500 students aged between 11 and 17 will compete in the club’s district, Rotary District 1010 Scotland North, a collection of 88 Rotary clubs covering the North of Scotland, the Shetland Isles and Western Hebrides.

Their challenge: to prepare in one-and-a-half hours a two-course healthy meal for two people on a £10 budget.

Of the seven students that entered in Stonehaven, three stood out: 13-year-old Heather Nisbet, who was crowned winner with her main of garlic and herb stuffed chicken wrapped in Parma ham with seasonal vegetables and dessert of creamy lemon and biscuit, 15-year-old Olivia Park and 14-year-old Skye Punchard who were second and third respectively.

Heather now goes through to compete in the district final. From here, the winner and runner up will be entered into a regional final and the winner from this will enter the national final in April.

Food operations manager of ESS Offshore, Graham Singer, was appointed by Rotary as having the expertise required to head the judging, marking entrants on their taste, presentation, technical, planning and costing skills using a point system totalling 150.

Ronnie Kelman, business director for ESS Offshore and a formal pupil at Mackie Academy assisted Mr Singer on the day and commented: “There are many exciting opportunities in the catering and support services industries for those that are willing to work hard and are passionate about customer service.

“I’m delighted that we are able to work with the local community supporting our young people.”