A TEENAGER from Kingsmead enjoyed a slice of success when he beat off competition from 6,000 rivals to scoop a place in a national final.
Mathew Thomas, a Year 10 student at The County High School Leftwich, was one of eight teenagers to make it to the national final of the Rotary Young Chef competition.
The challenge was to prepare a three-course meal for two within two hours using ingredients costing no more than £15.
His winning menu included a starter of diver caught scallops and black pudding served on a creamy pea puree, a main course of pan fried duck breast with a wild mushroom and spinach sauce, fondant potato and baby carrots and a dessert of vanilla panna cotta served with baked rhubarb and pistachio and almond praline.
Mathew said: “I’ve always been interested in cooking, even as a small child I never really liked ‘kiddie food’ fish fingers and smiley faces, I always wanted to help mum in the kitchen.
“I cook at home, either helping mum or making my own meals for the family.
“My favourite thing to cook is scallops and black pudding, steak and ale pie.
“I like to try new flavours and foods and enjoy eating out.”
Mathew got involved in the competition after winning class competitions at his school, the inter-school competition organised by the Rotary Club of Northwich, the district round and the north west regional final.
The UK national final was held at the Dundee and Angus College.
Mathew was trained at Nunsmere Hall Hotel to help him through the rounds.
His mum Karen said: “When Mathew reached the final the Rotary Club were a great support and we have met some lovely people.
“I am very proud of what Mathew achieved, the eight finalists were fantastic and the standard of cooking from children aged between 14 and 17 was amazing, they were all winners.”