Schoolboys star in new CBBC cooking show hosted by Fred from First Dates
PUBLISHED: 12:40 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 19 August 2019
Two students from Langley School are currently cooking up a storm in new CBBC series Step Up to the Plate.
Asa Cohen and Nick Yates, both aged 12, will be competing to find out if they have the skills to run their own restaurant.
Each episode sees a different group of eight contestants battling it out for a place in the semi-final.
The youngsters are divided into two groups: the kitchen crew, who work with top chefs, and the restaurant crew, guided by expert maitre d' Fred Sirieix, who is the star of Channel 4's First Dates.
Asa, from Little Plumstead, is part of the restaurant crew and, although he wants to be a stockbroker when he is older, he has a passion for cooking and a love of French food.
The ambitious 12-year-old explained his strategy on the show: "I want to be the salesman trying to get people to order a bit more, trying to sell a bit more, trying to make a bit more money."
Asa's mother Nicola Cohen said: "Asa's grandparents live a long way away, so it has been great for them to watch his progress on the show."
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Nick Yates, from Gorleston, hopes to run his own business in the hospitality sector one day and found the experience "fun, exciting and educational". He added: "When I served the 'difficult diners' I was told to try not to laugh! I enjoyed meeting Fred as he is a funny guy."
Nick's mum Angela Yates is understandably proud of her son and is pleased that he took part in the show: "He has enjoyed meeting new people and has loved taking part - he felt quite the star for a bit!"
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Both boys found out about the show through their teacher Nicola Price, who is the senior school's head of food preparation and nutrition.
She encouraged them to fill in the application form and they then had to submit short video clips of themselves serving food, as well as being interviewed by the casting director via FaceTime.
Miss Price said: "Asa is a talented chef and Nick has wowed us with his baking creations.
"We are delighted that their skills were recognised and they were both able to appear on Step Up to the Plate - it is very exciting for both of them."
The show sees the young contestants trying to impress a range of celebrities such as baking guru Liam Charles, former Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh and restaurant critic Grace Dent with their cooking and serving skills.
Asa particularly enjoyed this element: "I got to serve some celebrities including: DJ BBQ, Sam and Mark from CBBC and Lindsey from Blue Peter."
Step Up To The Plate is on CBBC and is available via BBC iPlayer. The Grand Final airs on August 30.