Fleetwood youngster Alfie Hall cooked up something special and won himself an award.
Alfie, a Year Six pupil at Shakespeare Primary School, has been awarded the Fleetwood Young Chef title.
The competition was organised by the group Healthier Fleetwood as part of its programme to encourage residents to think about nutrition and the importance of diet and a healthy lifestyle.
It was sparked by shock statistics which revealed that parts of Fleetwood had a lower life expectancy than the UK average.
Nearly 400 children from the town’s seven primary schools took part in the competition, which began in the last summer term.
The challenge was to design a three-course meal for their hero on a £10 budget.
Alfie’s hero was his dad and the menu choices were mouth-watering tomato and basil soup as a starter, followed by Cajun salmon with roast vegetables and herbs and finally, strawberry cheesecake bites for pudding.
Each school sent forward a student to the final at Twelve Restaurant in Thornton where they worked with the professional chefs to produce their meals.
The judging panel included Lancashire-born chef Harry Lomas MBE, who has catered at many high-profile events including at banquets for The Queen.
Harry said: “The standard was really incredible.
“It was great working alongside and seeing what the youngsters produced, in fact several of the dishes were so good I would put them on one of my menus tomorrow.”
The awards were presented at a special celebration lunch at Fleetwood Town FC attended by family, friends and teaching staff.
The other finalists were Ryan Birkett (Charles Saer Community Primary), Charlotte Redman (Flakefleet), Lily-Jayne Ives (Larkholme Primary), George Hill (Shakespeare Primary), Eli Diamante (St Mary’s Catholic Primary) and Ray Sampson (Chaucer Community Primary).
Delighted Alfie said: “I enjoyed making the food but I didn’t expect to win!”
Healthier Fleetwood is now planning to hold the competition on an annual basis.
Mount View surgery GP Mark Spencer was part of the team behind the idea and he said: “Cookery is a life skill and, coupled with healthier eating choices, will bring life-long health benefits for our children.
“We’d like to thank the children, their families and teachers, our partners and local suppliers who helped make this such a success.
“It’s certainly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my medical career.”
The Young Chef event is just one of many initiatives being looked at by Healthier Fleetwood. Visit www.healthierfleetwood.co.uk