Menu of mackerel salad, duck en croute and vanilla parfait sees Aylsham High School pupil claim second place in Rotary Young Chef final

Aspiring young chef Elise Mabbutt has added to her blossoming cooking career with a second-place finish in a national cooking competition.

The 15-year-old Aylsham High School pupil retained her local crown by winning the Rotary Club of Norwich's heat of the Rotary Young Chef competition, which requires young people up to the age of 18 to produce a three-course meal for two people within two hours.

Elise held off tough opposition from pupils at City of Norwich School, Ormiston Victory Academy and a fellow pupil of Aylsham High School to win and then went on the Rotary District 1080 Final, in King's Lynn, and won again when pitted against competitors from across East Anglia.

That earned her a place in the Rotary Regional Young Chef final at the end of March, held in Grays, Essex, which covered much of southern England and, yet again, won.

Then finally, on Saturday, April 21, Elise took part in the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Young Chef final, at Denman College, near Oxford.

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David Riddle, spokesman for the Rotary Club of Norwich, said: 'Elise was one of eight finalists, all of whom had undergone the same rigorous process of selection via Rotary club, district and regional rounds, drawn from areas all round England, Ireland and Wales.

'The standard of food produced by these young people was very high, demonstrating excellent skill levels and producing dishes which many professional chefs would be proud to serve.'

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Elise's menu started with pan-fried mackerel salad, with salsa verda and lemon foam. Her main course was duck en croute with madeira and plum sauce, followed by a desert of vanilla parfait with poached rhubarb and tuile biscuits.

David added: 'Elise was awarded second place at this prestigious national level and is to be commended for the consistently high standards she has maintained through all stages of this competition.'

For details of the range of youth opportunity activities organised by the Rotary Club of Norwich, email David at

Have you got a story for Local Life? Contact editor David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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