Student Lewis Gurney from Brooke Weston Academy is one of only eight talented young chefs to win a Gold Award in a national game cooking competition.
As a prize he and the other finalists will take part in a cooking masterclass at the Michelin-starred Northcote Hotel in Lancashire with top chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen.
Lewis will be able to invite his parents along, as well as food technology teacher Natasha Chiremba, who ran the Game Stars Competition, part of the School Game Changer project, in lessons earlier this year.
The challenge, run by Taste of Game and the Food Teachers Centre, tasked students to create a quick and easy game meat recipe with a modern twist. Lewis submitted his recipe for pheasant, mushroom and bacon tortellini, along with photographs and chefs Lisa-Goodwin Allen, Chef Bruno and Chef Emma Lawson judged the results. The top 18 dishes (including Lewis’s) were cooked and tasted, and the recipes will be published in a booklet available at game fairs across the country.
Lewis, from Year 10, said: ‘I really like making pasta and I thought the combination would work well together as the pasta is quite light and the way I cook the pheasant makes it tender. I like cooking pasta from scratch and make it every week. I want to be a chef when I am older and I am practising my recipe so that I can do it faster as it currently takes two to three hours. I am looking forward to the masterclass as it will look great on my CV.’
Louise Davies Founder of the Food Teachers Centre said: ‘Judging this year’s Game Stars competition for secondary school pupils has been a real pleasure. The winners submitted creative and delicious recipes with exciting modern twists. They showcased brilliant skills preparing and cooking game, plus making incredible sauces, pastries and accompaniments. Their dishes had the ‘wow’ factor in every respect. Many of these students had not cooked game before the joined the Schools Game Changer programme 18 months ago, so it is very pleasing to see how quickly their skills have progressed in that short time.
Chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen said ‘We were thrilled to see so many entries – the standard was very high which made it incredibly difficult to choose winners. Throughout the entries there was clever use of ingredients and the recipes really brought game to the table in an inspiring way. To everyone who didn’t win this time, please try again, it’s been very enjoyable seeing many different ideas submitted. It’s been a fantastic first year of the competition and hope there will be many more to come.”
Natasha Chiremba, Food Technology teacher at Brooke Weston Academy, said: ‘I was really excited when I found out about this competition, especially as a renowned chef is involved. Lewis had been asking me about competitions he could enter and was extremely dedicated and keen to develop a successful recipe as soon as I introduced the Game Star Awards. This is such an incredible prize and I am so proud that Lewis has achieved such a prestigious award. I have no doubt that the masterclass will be a memorable experience for him.’