Dead heat over the best to eat

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TWO Buxton teenagers cooked up a storm to share the title of Peak District Junior Master Chef.

Tom Wakefield, 13, and Sorcha Heelan, 14, impressed the judges so much during the final of the competition, held at the University of Derby Buxton’s Peak District Food and Drink Festival, that they couldn’t choose between them.

Tom’s recipe – for game pie with handmade butter pastry served with stout, butternut squash and apple and red cabbage relish– and Sorcha’s oven-roasted pork tenderloin stuffed with lemon and herbs certainly gave judges Alan Hill from the Devonshire Arms at Beeley, Matt Timms from Tideswell School of Food and Simon Bradley from East Lodge Hotel food for thought.

As joint winners of the competition, Tom won a seven course taster menu at East Lodge for his family while Sorcha won Denby cookware plus tickets to attend the Denby visitor centre.

Competition organiser Tracy Ellis said: “Our judges were so impressed by the quality of food that Tom and Sorcha produced throughout the competition that rather than giving one young chef the title they had to award it jointly.

“We hope that the whole experience, which included master classes at Tideswell School of Food, and in Alan Hill’s kitchens, have given the contestants the skills and desire to keep cooking. Maybe we’ll even welcome them back as great chefs in the future.”