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CookIt! 2009 Final

Jane Suthering (05/06/2009)

Six children between the ages of 10 and 14 wowed the judges with their confidence, ability and passion as they cooked a two-course meal in 1½ hours in the finals of CookIt! - the Guild of Food Writers annual cooking competition – which took place on Thursday 4 June 2009 in the BBC Good Food kitchens.

2009 CookIt! Winner Robbie Main

Photographer: Geoff Wilkinson
With thanks to BBC Good Food magazine

This year’s winner is Robbie Main, who comes from Lincolnshire. Robbie, aged 12, impressed judges Xanthe Clay (Saturday Telegraph and author of Recipes to Know by Heart) and Mike Robinson (of The Pot Kiln in Berkshire) with a pancetta chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms on a bed of leek and parsnip 'noodles' with pea puree and rosemary roast potatoes and crunchy upside down cheesecake with summer berries.

The second prize went to Emily Georgiades, aged 14 and the third prize to Andrew Seager, aged 12.

CookIt! 2009 Finalists
Winner: Robbie Main
, aged 12, from Lincolnshire, cooked pancetta chicken stuffed with wild mushrooms on a bed of leek and parsnip noodles with pea purée and rosemary roast potatoes followed by crunchy upside down cheesecake with summer berries.
Second Prize Winner: Emily Georgiades, aged 15, from Nottinghamshire, cooked butternut squash tortellini with chorizo served with roast cherry tomatoes and asparagus followed by chocolate fondant strawberry surprise.
Third Prize Winner: Andrew Seager, aged 12, from York, cooked smoked  paprika chicken with pink grapefruit and fennel salad followed by summer fruit ravioli with chocolate sauce.
Runners up: Lucy Greenhead, aged 14, from Worcester, cooked pan-roasted fillet of halibut with coriander pappardelle, Mediterranean stir fry and glazed baby onions served with passion fruit sauce followed by carrot and white chocolate fondant; Abigail Richards, aged 11, from the West Midlands, cooked baked salmon with a pepper parmesan crust, with guacamole couscous salad and cocoa courgette orange cup muffins served with a fresh smoothie sauce; and Anamay Viswanathan, aged 12, from London, cooked roasted duck breast on a bed of black lentils with courgette and carrot tagliatelle and redcurrant and orange sauce followed by cinnamon and bay leaf poached pear.

Sponsor: Gold Top

The CookIt! competition, sponsored by Gold Top, was open to all young cooks aged between 10 and 14 years of age. The theme for 2009 was ‘High Five!’ and entrants were asked to create a delicious two-course family meal using five or more different fruit and vegetables. The importance of eating fruit and vegetables is well known, but the judges were looking for entrants that can really show just how delicious they are too!

Gold Top is produced exclusively from pedigree herds of British Jersey and Guernsey cows. Quality Milk Producers, the co-operative of 400 British Jersey and Guernsey dairy farmers who own the Gold Top brand, recognised the potential of Channel Island milk and have successfully expanded the Gold Top range which includes milk, cream and butter.

Over the years whole milk has had a lot of negative press and many people have switched to semi skimmed and skimmed due to the perceived high fat value. Consumer research shows that people believe the fat content of whole milk lies between 20 and 50%.

Channel Island milk actually only contains 5% fat which is actually less then a packet crisps, a bowl of cereal or a take-out sandwich! The thicker consistency also makes Gold Top milk an ideal substitute for cream in many recipes. It allows indulgent dishes with fewer calories.

Guernsey milk contains 12% more protein and 15% more calcium while Jersey milk contains 18% more protein and 20% more calcium than average milk. Other health benefits include the fact that around 1/3 of the Gold Top milk’s fat is the healthy monounsaturated kind, which is associated with lowering blood pressure and keeping the heart healthy. Channel Island milk also contains more vitamin A and D than any other milk. 

'In a time when there is concern over children’s diets we are delighted that Gold Top is involved in a project that encourages young children to take an interest in good food and start to think creatively about the food they eat. Our involvement in this prestigious competition allows us to highlight the Gold Top story to the hugely influential food writers and chefs who are members of the Guild of Food Writers, whilst at the same time promoting the brand to families with an interest in food.' Stephen Cavenagh, Chairman of the Quality Milk Producers.

Find out more at www,

CookIt! 2009 Prizes
First Prize: A five day holiday for a family of four courtesy of Gold Top milk. The winner stays at Rendham Hall, Saxmundham, a working dairy farm and B&B set in the idyllic Suffolk countryside. The relaxing rooms overlook grazing for the farm’s herd of Jersey cows. As well as meeting the various farm animals, the winner tours the farm’s dairy plant to watch the Jersey milk being produced. Rendham Hall is also perfectly located to explore Suffolk’s heritage coast and enjoy a range of history and cultural activities nearby. Check out

Second Prize: 
A two night stay for a family of four at The Royal Oak - a Michelin recommended pub in the beautiful village of Bishopstone, on the Gloucestershire/ Wiltshire border. Check out The prize includes cookery lessons with resident chef, Guild member and award-winning writer Liz Franklin, the chance to spend some time on the farm with Helen and to cook with some of the most amazing ingredients available. Your winning dishes may even be featured on their menu!  

Third Prize:
A one day cookery course for two at The Mike Robinson Game & Wild Food Cookery School. Mike is one of our judges and offers a range of courses at his school - check out

Runners up prizes: Each of the three runners up receives an ice cream maker generously donated by Lakeland (order online:; order by telephone: 015394 88100; 40 stores nationwide).


Author: Jane Suthering Email:

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