Heat is on for students in cookery invention contest

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Five teams of students will pit their wits against each other in a Masterchef-style invention test using ingredients selected by the East of England Co-op from their Sourced Locally range.

In celebration of local producers and food grown here in East Anglia, the East of England Co-op have challenged Suffolk New College students to be as creative as they can with ingredients usually included in a breakfast – and see what imaginative dishes they can come up with.

Five teams of two students, aged between 16-18, who are studying for their professional chef qualification, will take part in the challenge in Shelley’s Restaurant at Suffolk New College on Monday, June 10, from 11.30am.

Judges for the event include Justin Kett, Executive Head Chef at the Hotel Folk Group. He will be joined by Charlotte Smith-Jarvis, food editor at Archant,

Judges will be looking for the most innovative use of the ingredients, presentation and taste. The winning dish will be featured in the menu at The Crown in Woodbridge for a week.

Dishes which have been created by the students for the invention test include a sausage and egg donut burger with tomato jam, Nduja and mustard scotch egg with mustard mayo, and a fennel, sausage, tomato and mozzarella pie with white onion puree.

Roger Grosvenor, Joint Chief Executive at the East of England Co-op, said: “We are really looking forward to seeing what the students can create in our very own Masterchef-style invention test using products from our Sourced Locally Breakfast Pack. The judges are in for a treat and it will be wonderful to see the winning dish on the menu at The Crown in Woodbridge.

“As consumers we need to support local producers and shop local where we can. Sourced Locally Fortnight is an important initiative and gives food and drink producers in East Anglia the chance to shine a light on their products which are lovingly grown and created here on our doorstep.”

The Sourced Locally initiative is being run with the aim of encouraging shoppers to swap their usual brands for locally-produced items during the fortnight, which runs from June 1-15.

The award-winning scheme has generated millions of pounds for the region since 2007, creating and protecting hundreds of local jobs. Last year, East of England Co-op customers spent just over £999,000 on locally sourced products; a 2.8% increase on 2017.

It aims to promote producers who are based locally, giving customers more choice and the ability to keep money in the local economy as well as reducing the carbon footprint created by travel distances.

More than 100 producers who stock East of England Co-op stores across the region will see their brands promoted throughout the fortnight. Thousands of products are available, ranging from fruit and vegetables, jams and chutneys, to meats, fish, pies, fruit juices and wines.

The breakfast roadshow will be touring Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex throughout the fortnight. To find out when and where it will stop off, click here.