Chefs crowned

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COOKS have proved that they’ve got the recipe for success in a town-wide competition.

Katie and Amy Jukes were crowned champions following a tense final in the Hartlepool Masterchef 2011 competition.

Their two-course meal of flying chicken and coconut and raspberry cake wowed the judges and earned them a £100 cash prize, as well as the coveted Masterchef trophy.

The runner-up was Syed Shahan Miah who won £75 with a menu of baja mach and shashlick chicken.

Third place, and £50, went to Ranju and Anjali Gupta who cooked sheek kebab with a mango lassi and chilli chicken.

The £25 fourth prize was won by Kimberly Nugent and Paul and Nathan Thompson, from the Throston Youth Project, who cooked welly’s winter warmer and treacle tart.

The judges were Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, Fergus Robertson, executive chef at the college’s Flagship Bistro, Fausto Tabarini from Matteos restaurant at Seaton Carew, Julia Kiss, the runner-up in last year’s competition, and Jennifer McDermott, Hartlepool Borough Council’s community nutritionist.

The competition was organised by Hartlepool Borough Council, in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education, which allowed its kitchens to be used for both the heats and the final.

The ultimate aim was to bring together people of all ages and encourage them to work as a team and help each other, forming relationships that they could take back out into their respective communities The contest, which was sponsored by the town’s Asda store, was open to both individuals and groups.

Irene Cross, the council’s neighbourhood development officer in the centre of the town, said: “This is the third time that we have staged the competition and once again it has been a huge success.

“There were some great recipes and I’d like to congratulate all of the competitors on the high standard of their cooking.”

In the heats, competitors cooked a single-course balanced and healthy meal, while those winning through to the final were required to add either a starter or dessert to create a two-course meal. They had two hours to prepare and cook their dishes and all ingredients, up to a maximum cost of £10, were provided.