Master chef in the making Caitlyn Murray baked up a storm in the Eastern Cape finals of the SPAR Junior Chef competition to take the culinary crown at the Alfresco International Academy of Food and Wine in East London on Thursday.
Murray, who is in Grade 7 at Hudson Park Primary, faced tough competition from fellow East Londoner Jenna Rose Corry of Clarendon Girls’ Primary School and Gemma Linn Vorster of Riebeek College in Uitenhage.
Each contestant prepared a signature dish, which was judged on taste, texture, presentation and level of difficulty.
The girls were put through their paces by the judging panel, which consisted of SPAR EC promotions and advertising manager Wendy Westraadt, Alfresco owner Annette van der Water and Vincent SUPERSPAR‘s Jonothan McGlashan.
Once their individual recipes were judged, the finalists faced one last test. They had to make and decorate a mystery dish, which turned out to be chocolate brownies.
Murray rose to the occasion, much like her melt-in-the-mouth chocolate and caramel cupcakes, to claim first prize and R5 000 worth of shopping vouchers.
Corry’s light and fluffy flapjacks scooped the runner-up spot and vouchers to the value of R1 000, while Vorster’s cheese and bacon pastry wheels secured her third place and R500 in vouchers.
All three finalists walked away with a SPAR hamper, apron and oven gloves, as well as a collection of kitchen utensils.
According to Westraadt, this was the second year that SPAR Eastern Cape had sponsored the event, which was also supported by school newspaper Free 4 All.
“It’s a nationwide concept but each region runs its own Junior Chef competition.”
She said it was important for the retailer to be associated with events that represented family values and good food.
“For us this competition is all about encouraging the youth to enjoy being in the kitchen and learning about wholesome home cooking instead of relying on take-outs.
“We supply quality products for people to make at home, while spending quality time with friends and family.”
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