Toby is named Young Chef of the Year

14 year-old follows in his heroes' footsteps

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Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College

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Toby Cartwright, 14, a pupil at The Moat School in Fulham has been named Hammersmith and Fulham's Young Chef of the Year.

Toby served up a winning menu of porcini mushroom risotto with tarragon, roasted salmon on a bed of spinach and roasted red peppers and hassleback potatoes, stunning the judges with his cooking and presentation skills.

Toby, who was competing against five other finalists from schools across the borough, says: “It feels really good to have won. It was quite a challenge to get my courses cooked in the one hour we were given, but I managed it. I hope to go to catering college after I’ve finished school and become a chef eventually.

" My role model is Heston Blumenthal – I really like the way he is so inventive and adventurous with his cooking.”

The competition was run by Hammersmith and Fulham Council's Food Safety Team and held in the training kitchens at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College, which offers a range of catering and hospitality courses.

Judges included current holder of the borough's Chef of the Year title, Jacky Lelievre from the Butcher’s Hook gastropub in Fulham, Nicholas Kummer, Assistant Manager from London Pub in Russell Square and Sheila Fraser-Whyte, Division Manager for Hospitality & Catering at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College.

Sheila says: " All of the entries were really impressive and it was a tight call to decide on the winner. Some of the competitors used very advanced techniques for their age. Well done to everyone who took part – and congratulations to Toby!”

The aim of the competition was to get young people involved and interested in cooking and to use a competition to encourage them to design, cook and present healthy dishes under tight deadlines – essential skills to progress in the catering trade.

Toby went home with prizes of an Ipod and a crystal trophy and will spend a day working in the kitchen at the Butcher's Hook.

The pub's chef Jacky says: " It has been really interesting for me to interact with young chefs and I was really impressed by their skills and enthusiasm. "

The Moat School is dedicated to the teaching of children with Specific Learning Difficulties, and Toby, who is in Year 10, suffers from dyslexia. Fortunately that is no barrier to success in the catering industry - two of his other heroes, top chefs Marco Pierre White and Jamie Oliver are also dyslexic.

22nd April 2009