Chefs serving up safety message

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TWO promising chefs will be cooking up a potato-based treat in a competition today – and they’ll be doing it safely.

Hartlepool College of Further Education students Jade White and Stephen Phillips won an in-college contest earlier this week to create a tasty potato dish without chipping or frying.

The quirky challenge was one of a number of activities organised by Cleveland Fire Brigade, in partnership with Cleveland Fire Support Network, as they aim to raise awareness of chip pan fires and kitchen safety.

After coming out on top in the college competition, the talented pair, both studying an NVQ level two diploma in professional cookery, are today attempting to pit their wits against other competition winners from colleges across Teesside.

And the winners of today’s event, held at Hartlepool College of FE, in Stockton Street, will be handed a number of prizes including the superb opportunity of a week’s training at Wynyard Hall Hotel and Spa.

Kevin Dove, catering lecturer at the college, said: “The competition we held in college was of a fantastic standard. The seven teams of two who took part prepared some excellent potato-based dishes and they did it safely.

“Other activities going on in the college which I think made the students realise just how dangerous kitchen fires and in particular chip pan fires can be. It really hit home.”

Heather Whyman, chief executive of Cleveland Fire Support Network, has targeted students throughout Chip Pan Safety Week, which has been running alongside the brigade’s month-long kitchen safety campaign.

Heather is one of the judges for today’s competition alongside Phil Lancaster, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s director of community protection, Alan O’Kane, chef at Wynyard Hall Hotel and Spa, Martin Moore, chef at the Lotus Lounge Hide Bar, in Yarm, and town restaurateur Krimo Bouabda, who judged the contest at the college earlier this week.

Heather said: “All of the catering students who took part in the competitions at the colleges are all very aware of the dangers of a chip pan fire and other risks in the kitchen.”