A talented team of primary school children turned up the heat to win a top baking award. 

The trio from St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School – a Country Range Group customer based in Windermere, Cumbria – were named winners of the 2018 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition. 

They cooked their way to first place after wowing the judges with their raspberry and white chocolate scones 

Finley Park (aged 8), Harry Vinall (9) and Alice Evans (10), supported by school caterer, Nicola Hastie, visited their local farm to collect the eggs used and sourced the chocolate in the recipe from a nearby company, adhering to the locally sourced ingredients competition theme. 

The final took place at LACA: The Main Event, with the five schools cooking in front of a live audience. 

Sarah Robb, foodservice channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: “Every year we are blown away by the standard in terms of presentation, taste and how the teams work together throughout the day. Huge congratulations to the winning school and a big thank you to all those who took part, the effort that you put into rehearsing for the finals was clearly evident in the high quality of the final dishes.” 

The judges – Andrew Green, representing the Craft Guild of Chefs; Carol Harwood, representing LACA; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods – had the tough challenge of choosing one overall winner from the outstanding finalists in attendance. 

St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School scored highly for their impeccable attention to detail from the mini pots of jam and cream to the beautifully handmade chocolate swans. The school was awarded £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment, a prize which was presented to them by Tim Blowers, chair of LACA, encouraging the pupils to continue their passion for high quality food and learning cookery skills. 

School cook Nicola Hastie commented: “I couldn’t be prouder of the children, you can see such a difference in their confidence from when we first started practicing for the competition. It has really brought all of the pupils at the school together as everyone has got involved with the process and supported us. The £1,000 prize money is incredible and we’re planning on using it towards kitchen equipment so we can start up a weekly cookery club. It’s so important that the children know where their food comes from and how to prepare it and this prize will help us teach them this.” 

Their full winning recipe, including Raspberry Jam and White Chocolate Swans, is available online at www.stiritupmagazine.co.uk/recipes