Young chef impresses judges to win Rotary competition

Wimbledon Guardian: Mark Shields is presented his award by Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant. Photo by Yvonne Ferrier Mark Shields is presented his award by Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant. Photo by Yvonne Ferrier

A teenage chef cooked up a three course storm to be crowned the winner of a Rotary Club competition district final.

Mark Shields devised his own menu to be picked as the winner in the district heats of the Rotary Junior Chef challenge, held at South Thames College in London Road, Morden.

His winning starter was asparagus with king prawn and a poached duck egg, followed by stuffed chicken breast with cous cous and salsa verde sauce and a strawberry and lemon cheesecake with strawberry coulis to finish.

Mark, aged 17, of St Helier Avenue, Morden, said: "It feels great to win, I didn't think I stood a chance of coming first because everyone's food was so good."

Barry Bramley of Morden Rotary Club, that organised the competition, said: "The facilities at the college are outstanding.

"The standard was very good, and the judges seemed very excited by what was being dished up."

The annual event on Saturday, February 8 was attended by Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor John Sargeant, who presented prizes to Mark and runners up Jessie Dang, aged 16, and Ben Acott.

The students will now go through to regional final on Saturday, March 8 in Weybridge, and then if they are successful will compete in the national final in Dundee.

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