Souper-Tabitha wows the judges

Tabitha Steven
Tabitha Steven

A Bearsden youngster has been crowned 2017 UK Young Chef of the Year by Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland.

Tabitha Steven (13) is the youngest pupil to be awarded the UK Young Chef title and wins the top prize of a study visit to the Italian Cookery School in Tuscany.

She wowed the judges in the finals at Lincoln College at the weekend with her three-course meal.

Tabitha’s menu started with new season asparagus soup, followed by the main course of pan-fried sea bass with courgette and tomato and basil sauce, and a dessert of vanilla panna cotta with summer berries and baked crumb.

The judges – including Michelin star chef Danny Gill from BBC TV’s Great British Menu – said that Tabitha’s asparagus soup was “amazing” and her sea bass was “so cooked to perfection” that it could be served up in any top restaurant.

Tabitha, a second year pupil at the High School of Glasgow, said: “I was shocked to win but I was delighted with the judges’ comments.

“I was so nervous at the start of the finals with seven others finalists, mostly older than me. It was quite tense with only two hours to cook our meal for two persons from start to finish, using fresh ingredients costing no more than £15.”

Tabitha won her place in the UK Young Chef finals after coming top young chef in both the West of Scotland regional and Scotland national rounds of the competition for students in full time education aged 17 years or under.

She added: “It has been an amazing journey for me in this competition, first winning Scottish Rotary Young Chef of the Year in Dundee and now the UK 2017 Young Chef.”

Teacher Mrs Sellar said: “I am so proud of Tabitha. It has been truly inspiring to see her commitment and enthusiasm at all stages of the Rotary Young Chef competition.”

Last year, Tabitha, aged 12, won the Glasgow Rotary Young Chef of the Year. She was the youngest ever pupil to receive the Glasgow award.