Early taste for cooking
BUDDING young chef Alistair Can Kisioglu showed off his culinary skills on Saturday when he represented Bradford on Avon in the Rotary Club’s district cookery competition.
The Year 8 St Laurence pupil was one of 12 chefs from across Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset taking part in the competition at Melksham Oak Community School.
Each had to prepare a healthy three-course meal using local ingredients, which cost under £15.
The competition was judged by Will Jackson, head chef at Marco Pierre White’s Pear Tree Inn, Whitley, with the winner moving on to the south west regional finals in Poole.
At 12 years old Alistair was the youngest in the competition, which was open to all under-17s.
His mother, Victoria Can Kisioglu, said: “He didn’t do too well in the final competition, but he was the youngest taking part, and so he did well for someone his age.
“He practised hard beforehand, so we all got to try his dish, which was great. He likes to think of himself as a young chef and he tries to pitch in at home whenever he can.”
Alistair, whose family is Turkish, prepared a traditional starter of filo pastry cigarette rolls stuffed with feta cheese and a yoghurt dip, followed by Turkish meatballs with a bulgar wheat salad. His dessert was a raspberry delight pudding, with a biscuit base.
He said: “I really enjoyed myself, it was good fun. Our family often visits Turkey and I love the food there.
“My dream is to set up my own restaurant when I’m older. I want to cook lots of different things, Turkish and English, mixed together.”
Warwick Allen, president of the Rotary Club of Melksham, hosted the competition.
He said: “It was a very successful day, very enjoyable, and all the competitors had a great deal of fun. There was some great support from parents, schools and local Rotarians.
“This was the first time it had been held in Melk-sham, as the site of the competition moves around the district, and it was great to use the Oak School as their facilities are brand new.”
The competition was won by students from schools in Wells and Bridgwater.
Mr Allen said: “The national winner will get a sponsored trip to Italy, and the opportunity to work with a celebrity chef, but each of them will have had to win the heat from their school.
“For any student interested in food and catering it’s a really good opportunity to improve their skills.
“They learn a lot just by being in the competition.”