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Dozens of budding chefs attended a masterclass at Merton College’s Hospitality and Catering Academy as part of Wandsworth Council’s Young Chef of the Year competition. Students from seven of the borough’s schools donned their chef whites and learnt how to prepare sauces for fish, make canapés and expert knife skills from the College’s chef lecturers and students, in their second master class of the competition – preparing them for the grand final.

For their first masterclass the group enjoyed a tour of Billingsgate Market, where they tasted a selection of fish and learnt how to fillet a mackerel.

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The competition, which launched in 2014 by the then mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Angela Graham, sees all the schools hold a cook-off to choose their competitor for the final – this year’s cook-offs were judged by Angela Graham, Dhruv Baker, 2010’s winner of Masterchef, private chef Susan Field and Nick Vadis from the Compass Group.

Steve Cannell, Head of South Thames College’s Hospitality and Catering Academy, added, “This is a fantastic competition and we are delighted Merton College (South Thames College) can help the students develop the skills they need to not only succeed in the competition but also as a professional chef.”

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The final of the competition was held at Burntwood School on Friday, March 20 and the cook-off judging panel was joined by Anna Haugh-Kelly, Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s London House restaurant and our Curriculum Manager, Ross Anderson.

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