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Young chefs cook up a storm at charity dinner


Two children’s charities have benefited from a dinner cooked by finalists in this year’s Wandsworth Young Chef of the Year competition.

The charity dinner was hosted by the Mayor of Wandsworth and raised money for the two charities he has supported in his Mayoral year – the Shooting Star Chase children’s hospice and CCHF All About Kids.

Tickets were sold to local people and businesses, with the £6000 raised from ticket sales going to the two charities. An auction raised more money, which is being totted up. A picture of a winter scene painted by the mayor raised £200. 

The young chefs supported students and staff from South Thames College and chefs from catering company Compass to plan and prepare the meal, gaining valuable experience in working in a busy kitchen catering a major event. 

This year’s Wandsworth Young Chef of the Year competition was won by Shanice Gayle who attends Harris Academy. The eight finalists that took part in the competition all showed off their skills at the dinner.

The Young Chef competition is run by the Mayor of Wandsworth and the council’s lifelong learning team. It nurtures young talent, teaches young people how to cook good healthy food to a budget, provides a chance to learn from the experts and helps young people get a foothold in the catering industry.

Support for the competition was being provided by the South Thames College catering school and the UK’s largest food and support services firm, Compass Group UK & Ireland, which have been involved with the competition since it launched in 2013. Chefs from Compass judged the final, overseen by culinary director at Compass, Nick Vadis.

The Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Richard Field, said: “I’m so proud of our Young Chef finalists. They have worked so hard to make this dinner a success and raise money for two worthy charities. I wish them every success in the future. I’d also like to thank South Thames College and Nick Vadis and his team at Compass Group UK & Ireland, who have provided so much support for the Young Chef competition and for this charity dinner.”

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Programmes like the Wandsworth Young Chef of the Year competition are brilliant for both the young adults involved and the foodservice industry as a whole. That’s why Compass and Chartwells, our specialist provider of catering to the education sector, are so pleased to be involved. The participants learn life skills and can even discover a future profession – inspiring the chefs of the future. Congratulations to everyone that took part and to Shanice for winning the competition.”

The council’s Lifelong Learning offers support for young people interested in the hospitality sector, including work experience. To find out more contact the team via its website.


The young chefs were helped in the kitchens by a selection of Compass chefs