Alexandra Smith, age 11, from Aberdeen is one of ten finalists selected to be in with a chance of being crowned the UK’s Young Pea Chef of the Year 2016, a national recipe competition which challenged children aged 4-12 to develop a delicious recipe using peas.
The Yes Peas! campaign, which represents the UK’s pea vining sector, joined forces with Waitrose to launch the Young Pea Chef of the Year competition which received hundreds of entries from children across the UK.
Alexandra Smith’s recipe for Pea and Potato Bites with a Pea and Mint Dip beat off hundreds of hopefuls to be selected as one of the final ten by a panel of judges, including TV chef Rachel Green, Waitrose Frozen Foods Buying Manager, Michael Simpson-Jones, and representatives from Birds Eye and Pinguin Foods.
The next stage of the competition calls upon the public to show their support and vote for their favourite recipe. The young chef with the most votes will be crowned Young Pea Chef of the Year 2016 and will win £500 worth of cooking equipment for their school from competition sponsor, Waitrose.
Dr Malcolm Smith, Alexandra’s father, said, "We are really proud that Alex is a finalist in the competition. She is passionate about cooking and aspires to be a chef. Alex loves "experimenting" with her cooking and testing her creations on her friends and family!"
Mrs Mollie Mennie, Head Teacher at Robert Gordon’s College Junior School, said: "The competition sparked a fantastic cross-curricular Science and Literacy project which the pupils thoroughly enjoyed. I am delighted that Alexandra’s creativity has been recognised and she has been selected as a finalist."
When asked why she created this recipe, Alexandra replied: “I wanted to make a quick and tasty snack that all the family would enjoy. I love the combination of peas, mint and potatoes which make me think of spring-time so I invented my pea and potato bites with a pea and mint dip.”
Michael Simpson-Jones, Waitrose Frozen Food Buying Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the Young Pea Chef of the Year competition in its inaugural year – we were blown away by the number of entries we received and it was a tough challenge selecting just ten worthy finalists. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and wish our finalists best of luck in the next stage of the competition”.
TV chef and Yes Peas! campaign ambassador, Rachel Green, said: “The level of entries we received from children across the country was outstanding and we’re delighted so many schools and families took the time to get creative in the kitchen and cook up their pea inspired recipes. Peas are incredibly nutritious and versatile and we hope that the competition will inspire many British children to see peas as an exciting and tasty ingredient.”
“We’d like to congratulate Alexandra on being chosen as a finalist and hope Aberdeen residents show their support by voting”.
• To vote, all people need to do is visit the Yes Peas! Facebook page where they will find information on all the finalists and their pea-inspired recipes. To find out more, visit www.youngpeachef.co.uk.