A GROUP of Hampshire cookery students came out on top in a prestigious cookery competition.

Leeam Simpson and Harry Cotten, both of Highbury College in Portsmouth won the Great British Biscotti Competition while Rebecca Leah of Eastleigh College was runner-up.

The competition, organised by Hampshire Fare and biscuit producer Great British Biscotti Company challenged cookery students over the age of 16 to come up with the tastiest Hampshire canapé, using two local ingredients on a choice of Biscotti from the Christchurch based company to celebrate British Food Fortnight.

To create her winning entry, Leeam used onions and cauliflower from Pickwell Farm Shop in Netley, to create a topping of onion bhaji, cauliflower puree, curry oil and coriander on an Indian Spice Biscotti.

Meanwhile, Harry used smoked trout from Chalk Stream Foods in Awbridge, to make a smoked trout, pea puree, pickled cucumber and watercress topping for a Chorizo & Parmesan Biscotti.

Finally, Runner-up Rebecca Leah used cherry tomatoes from Sunnyfields in Totton and rapeseed oil from The Cold Pressed Oil Company in Farnham to create a balsamic tomato and olive topping to complement a Sun-dried Tomato & Olive Biscotti.

Harry, 16, from Hilsea near Portsmouth, said: “I’m really happy that I have won this competition.

"I want to work in a restaurant when I finish my course so it is fantastic that I am already getting some recognition.

"I heard about the competition through the college and came up with my recipe especially.”

Tracy Nash, commercial manager of Hampshire Fare, added: “We have been really pleased with the great response to this quirky new competition which has succeeded in inspiring the 16-plus age group."

Paul Rostand from the Great British Biscotti Company said: “Our thanks to everyone involved – to Hampshire Fare for coming up with the idea for this competition and organising it, and to the colleges and the students who created some really innovative and exciting flavour combinations.

"We were very impressed with the high standard of entries.”

The two winners both received mixed boxes of Great British Biscotti and the runner-up received a gift box of sweet biscotti.


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e: richard.percival@dailyecho.co.uk