Sussex young cooks battle it out with locally inspired menus

Jasmine Cheeseman and Charlotte Cole from The Angmering School turned up the heat in the kitchen today to win this year’s Sussex final of the 2015 Create & Cook Competition.

The Sussex cookery competition final was fought between eight young cooks aged 12-14 years at Chichester College (Thursday 14 May). The brief of the Competition, which is run by fit2cook food education and sponsored by The Southern Co-operative, was to create and cook a two course menu using as many Sussex sourced ingredients as possible. The competition, which has the support of top Sussex chefs, aims to nurture young talent and celebrate local food.

Winners Jasmine and Charlotte cooked Littlehampton sea bream with new potatoes and local asparagus with a spring herb dressing. Their dessert was a rhubarb meringue delight with orange biscuits. Judging the young cooks were local food writer Rosemary Moon; Head Chef at the Lickfold Inn near Petworth, Graham Squire; Min Raisman from fit2cook food education and Stephanie Clarke, Retail Business Manager of The Southern Co-operative’s Yapton store. Head Chef Graham Squire said: “Using top local and seasonal ingredients, the girls’ dishes were cooked beautifully to really let the flavours come through. Their bream was delicious and their dessert accomplished.”

Create & Cook Sussex winners 2015 Charlotte Cole (L) & Jasmine Cheeseman Angmering School

Photo: Create & Cook Sussex winners 2015 Charlotte Cole (L) & Jasmine Cheeseman Angmering School


The other contestants had all worked hard on sourcing their local ingredients; Lucy Bleach and Megan Parkes from Millais School Horsham used local sausages in their ravioli dish whilst George Powling and Jacob Wetherell sourced seasonal local vegetables including asparagus for their risotto verdure. Siblings Nathan and Holly Aylett from Warden Park School in Cuckfield created a menu around local lamb from the South Downs and used Montezuma’s chocolate in their fondant dessert. Kate Hibbert, Local Sourcing Manager for The Southern Co-operative, said: “The Create & Cook Competition challenges young cooks to think about sustainability and the importance of supporting local farmers and food producers through their ingredient sourcing. This goes hand in hand with our own sourcing objectives for our Local Flavours range, available in selected Sussex stores.”

As winners, Jasmine and Charlotte will have their recipes professionally styled and photographed. They now go on to the Regional Final of the Create & Cook Competition, to be held at Newlyns Cookery School in Hampshire on 25 June. Here they will cook against fellow county competition finalists from Hampshire and Isle of Wight schools, aiming to win the 2015 Create & Cook Competition trophy which is currently held by Joe Doncaster and Alice Hyde from Sandown Bay Academy on the Isle of Wight. If they succeed, they will also win £1000 for their school food technology department. To find out more visit