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Celebrity chef awards Mame first prize

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin has awarded Mame from year 10 first prize in the latest Harris Masterchef Competition, which took place in May.

The competition saw 13 finalists from across the Harris Federation create their own dishes and cook them under competition conditions, under the watchful eye of judges.

Mame, who was mentored by local chef Suzanne James, created a mouth-watering menu of:

  • Roast fillet of spiced Cornish pollock with lemon scented cous cous, served with a medley of summer vegetables

  • Rhubarb and stem ginger yoghurt brûlée

  • Jubilee brûlée - with seasonal English berries, yoghurt and caramel

  • Soda bread rolls


Mame is taught by food teacher Kerry Stephenson and for the competition was also mentored by Suzanne James of East Dulwich caterers Suzanne James - Caterers of Distinction. Suzanne supported Mame as she planned her menu and presentation.

“To prepare for the competition Mame tried four different combinations of spices with the fish,” commented Suzanne. "I was particularly impressed that Mame wanted to bring in spices that reflected her heritage. That was very interesting for me, and I was excited that she wanted to use locally-grown rhubarb from the allotment of one of the teachers too. That was a lovely touch.”

Chef Paul Rankin was joined by other judges, including Lord Harris. Dan Moynihan, Chief Executive of the Harris Federation, said: “Mame was the unanimous choice of all the judges. It was really top restaurant-quality food – brown bread roles, two different amazing puddings and a stunning main.”

Highest standards

The Masterchef competition is just one of the ways we encourage the work of our students to match up to the highest standards in the world outside of the academy.

“At Harris we believe that our students should be creating work – whether art, literature, science or cuisine – that can stand comparison with work created by professionals,” said Principal Jane Fletcher. “That’s why competitions such as this are so important for students and raise their aspirations.”

Suzanne James, who also mentors students in our HOPE cupcake business run with Kerry Stephenson (see picture below) agrees: “Competition is really good for students and Mame gained a lot of confidence from this experience. I don’t think she knows her own ability. She’s a very, very, very talented girl.”

The finalists each received £100, with Mame also receiving a Kindle (donated by the academy's school lunch caterers, Sodexo) and a further £100 from Lord Harris.

Mame and P Rankin


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