A TALENTED 13-year-old took part in the national finals of the Rotary UK Young Chef competition.

Representing the Rotary East of England and the Rotary Club of Grays and Thurrock was Sasha Martin, a 13-year-old pupil from the Gateway Academy in Grays.

The event is a four-stage national competition to support and encourage development of cookery skills.

Sasha had won the local, regional and area competitions before arriving at the national final.

Despite being the youngest pupil taking part Sasha finished forth, just one point behind the third placed chef.

The task set was to prepare in two hours a three course healthy meal comprising of a starter, main course and dessert for two people costing less than £15.

Nicholas Wilkinson, a Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Grays and Thurrock, said: “What an excellent achievement just one point behind the third placed person.

“I know the South Essex College will be delighted with the result.

“They together with Gateway teacher Surraya Constable have been working with Sasha and will be very proud of her achievement.

“I know Sasha is already looking at the next year’s competition.”

Sasha’s menu included for a starter of crispy prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella, blow torched figs, homemade focaccia, pea shoots, balsamic glaze and basil oil.

The main course comprised pan roasted Suffolk pork tenderloin, celeriac puree, parsnip crisps, honey roast root vegetables, sprouts and red wine pan gravy.

To compete the meal the dessert was chocolate and banana avocado mousse, raspberry coulis, chocolate and pistachio soil, pistachio Guillermo and fresh raspberries.

Last weekend the national finals of the Rotary UK Young Chef competition took place at the Abraham Darby Academy in Telford.

The Rotary Young Chef Competition is a well-established and successful competition organised and promoted by Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland and sponsored by Filippo Berio.

Anyone wishing to know more about the event should visit http://www.graysthurrockrotary.org.uk/