TALENTED young chefs were put through their paces at an annual competition organised by Skipton Rotary Club.

Seven enthusiastic boys and girls were set the task of preparing and serving up a two-course meal - and all for under the cost of £18.

Held at Craven College's training kitchen in Skipton, judges, who included professional chefs and lecturers, agreed that the standard had been very high.

One of the judges, Bruce Elsworth, of Elsworth at the Mill, Skipton, said that deciding a winner was extremely difficult this year as all the entries had been excellent and there was hardly anything to choose between them.

The young chefs came up with some very inventive and delicious meals, using their own made sauces, rose petals, and in one case, freshly prepared and rolled out pasta.

Eventual winner, Isaac Chapman, a student at Ermysted's Grammar School, Skipton, has won his place on the regional heat of the Rotary competition due to take place in the spring.

Isaac won the judges over with his main course of hake in a home made bouillabaisse (a classic French fish soup) with mussels and charred fennel.

For dessert, it was delicious profiteroles filled with crème pâtissier and bathed in chocolate sauce. The judges commented that they were particularly impressed with the bouillabaisse which had a 'superb flavour'.

In second place was Athelstan Kelsey, a pupil at Upper Wharfedale School, Threshfield. His main course was a medium spiced chicken curry served with a freshly made chapatis. For desert, it was an Indian rice pudding made with saffron, cardamom and rose, and served with rose petals and flaked almonds. Again the judges were impressed by the wonderful flavours.

Third was Matilda Walden who is educated at home. She had prepared fresh pasta, rolling it out thinly by hand and cutting it into strips to make tagliatelle.

This was topped with fresh salmon in a cheese based sauce and served with steamed asparagus. Her dessert was a plum and raspberry clafoutis. Making fresh pasta from scratch had particularly impressed the judges. Her table was beautifully set out with an embroidered cloth, china candlesticks and matching cutlery and napkin ring.

The other competitors were: Sam Craig, Settle College. He made a chicken roulade with fetta and oregano, served with Israeli pearl couscous and roasted cherry tomatoes for the main course, and tarte au citron with raspberry coulis and Chantilly cream for the dessert.

Evie Collins, Brooklands School, Skipton, prepared a Persian lamb tagine with caramelised pears and served with couscous, and to follow a reduced sugar blackberry and ginger cheesecake.

Zac Aziz, Ermysted's Grammar School, Skipton, made a chicken curry that was served with perfectly cooked rice, and the dessert was a slice of cheesecake brownie with a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Evie May Garton, Skipton Girls High School, prepared pan fried halloumi on a bed of herby bean mash and a beetroot salsa, to be followed by a pear, cranberry and white chocolate crunch topped with a cinnamon and oat finish.

Each competitor was presented with a certificate by the Rotary Club President, Nicky Shoesmith.

Izaac will now go through to the regional round of young chef and if he is the winner, he will be able to compete in the national final, to be held on Saturday April 20.

On behalf of Skipton Rotary Club, Tony Priestley, who organised the competition, congratulated the students on their superb cooking skills, thanked the judges, Bruce Elsworth of Elsworth at the Mill, and Chris Gregson from the Tempest Arms, Elslack, and Will Jacques, professional cookery lecturer at Craven College who enabled the event to take place in the training kitchen and helped everything to run smoothly, he also thanked parents and teachers who supported the competitors and Rotarian helpers, and on behalf of the rotary club, wished Isaac the very best in the regional part of the competition.

A rotary spokesperson said: "As Rotarians we are constantly impressed by the ability, enthusiasm and commitment of the young people who enter our competitions."

Meanwhile, entries are coming in thick and fast for Skipton Rotary Club's annual dragon boat racing event due to take place at The Coniston Hotel, spa and estate, Coniston Cold, on Sunday, May 12. Some 80 per cent of the teams entering this year are returning from last year; they include a team from Settle and District Swimming Pool, which will be raising funds to ensure the pool, which is facing a hike in its energy bills, remains open.

For more information about Skipton Rotary Club and how to get involved look at Skipton Rotary on Facebook, SkiptonRotary.org or contact david.newall@skiptonrotary.org.