Maia English, 15, is Young Chef of the Year
A 15-year-old school pupil from the Westcountry has beaten budding young chefs from across the South West to claim the Junior South West Chef of the Year title.
Maia English, who attends King's School in Ottery St Mary, Devon, wowed an esteemed panel of judges to clinch the award, which recognises the future stars of the restaurant industry.
The talented youngster was one of four chefs, aged 11 to 16, from Cornwall to Gloucestershire competing in the final at Ashburton Cookery School earlier this month.
Her dish of caramelised Brixham scallops with celeriac purée and crispy pancetta was selected ahead of her competitors as the best in a hotly contested final.
Darrin Hosegrove of Ashburton Cookery School said judges were impressed by the standard of the junior competition.
He said: "The junior chef category is showing a lot promise and we are confident they will be able to match the standard of the region's professional chefs in years to come."
The other finalist representing the Westcountry, Jamie Swan from the Roseland Community College in Tregony near Truro, also impressed, cooking Woodland Valley pork chop on sweet potato and carrot mash with a honey and mustard dressing.
As a reward for her success Miss English will take part in work experience at David Everitt-Matthias' two Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham.
The finals of the professional and young professional classes were due to take place yesterday with finalists required to create a main dish and dessert from a mystery box of ingredients in just two hours.