Pupils from a Yorkshire preparatory school have been crowned the 2017 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year.

The team from Chapter House Preparatory School in York, which is a customer of the Country Range Group, baked their way to the top spot with their Queen Ethelburga’s Mess, impressing judges with their exceptional teamwork and a deliciously tasting recipe.

Lara Haigh and Jack Bennett, both aged nine, supported by school caterer Sarah Middlemiss, used fresh strawberries, garden mint and locally sourced eggs within their recipe, adhering to the local produce competition theme.

The final took place at LACA: The Main Event yesterday (July 6) with the five schools cooking in front of a live audience.

Sarah Robb, foodservice channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, commented: “After two successful years, we were excited to see what this year’s finalists would bring to the competition. We were very impressed by the children’s imagination, dedication and enthusiasm throughout the competition and would like to thank everyone who contributed to making the competition such a triumph for the third year running.”

The judges – Andrew Green, representing the Craft Guild of Chefs; Carol Harwood, representing LACA; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods – had the near impossible task of choosing an overall winner from the impressive finalists. The school was awarded £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment, a prize which was presented to them by Sally Shadrack, chair of LACA, helping the pupils to continue their passion for good food and cooking.

Sarah Middlemiss, commented: “I really couldn’t be prouder of the team and their achievement in the competition. Despite being a team member down due to illness, Lara and Jack threw themselves into the competition and worked calmly and meticulously to create their winning dish. They developed the recipe themselves back in our school kitchen in York, and I have been overwhelmed by their commitment to this competition.”