Media release: Aberdeen pupils cook up a storm in chef challenge

BUDDING chefs from Robert Gordon’s College blew professional catering judges away in a cookery challenge whilst fundraising for UNICEF.

Pupils from throughout primary four to seven made a signature dish as they battled to be crowned top chef in each of three categories: Savoury, Dessert and Baking.

A year group heat saw winners make it through to the semi-final stages followed by a keenly-contested final with 15 finalists.

Throughout the challenge the kind hearted youngsters raised over £700 for Unicef as they collected entry fees for the competition and a donation to watch the final in MacRobert Hall.

Guest judges, George A McIvor (former chair of the Master Chefs of Great Britain), executive chef, Bruce Lawrence, and catering manager, Jo Watson, were “blown away” by the offerings from the young cooks.

Said McIvor: “A great big thank you to all at Robert Gordon’s for inviting me to judge thecompetition. I was absolutely astounded by the high standard of cooking and the well thought out finished recipe presentation. Well worthy of inclusion on the menu in any fine eaterie where people are passionate about delicious home-made food.”

Lawrence, executive chef, Entier Limited, added: “The standard produced by all of the children on the day was truly amazing. It is brilliant to see children so young and so enthusiastic about cooking. Hopefully some of them will find a career in the catering industry as they definitely have the talent.”

Watson, catering manager, Entier Limited, at Robert Gordon’s College commented: “The challenge has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience to be involved in.

“I was blown away and could have employed any of the 15 finalists to work in the school kitchen if they were old enough! It goes to show how much passion and enthusiasm the children have for learning outwith the classroom and fundraising for charitable causes.

“This was a great idea and generated lots of excitement around school.”

Teacher, Laura Allen, said: “The pupils enjoyed participating in this challenge which provided a cross curricular activity in both Health and Wellbeing and Enterprise topics. In addition to cooking, P7 pupils, Jessica Cannell and Calum Fowler, hosted the event where Andrew Dawson and Cameron Stone interviewed pupils and judges.”

UNICEF UK is a registered charity raising funds and awareness to support UNICEF’s work to protect child rights worldwide, in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).


Media contact:

Shelley Lee,, 01224 611239

Notes for editors:

  • Photo caption: Left to right:  Bruce Lawrence, Nicholas Runcie, Hannah Lawrie, Holly Miller, George McIvor
  • Final took place on Tuesday 11th June at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen
  • The winning menu:
    • Savoury: Chilled Salmon Salad with Herb dressing by Holly Miller (ten years-old from Bieldside, P5)
    • Dessert: Bitter Chocolate and Lime Cheesecake by Hannah Lawrie (11 years-old from Aberdeen, P6)
    • Baking: Traditional Russian Layer Cake by Nicholas Runcie (12 years-old from Aberdeen, P7)
  • Unicef:

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Contact: Shelley Lee