Pleckgate High School pupils were cooking up a treat taking part in the prestigious Reg Johnson Cookery competition.

The cookery competition, for Years 8 and 9, was set up in memory of a local poultry farmer who died suddenly around six years ago.

Food Technology and Catering teacher Helen O’Connor has been keen that students from Pleckgate take part in the competition as Reg’s grandson, Alex Johnson, attended Pleckgate and studied GCSE Food and Nutrition.

Two teams consisting of Mya Benjamin and Lucy Webster from Year 8 and Petra McClernon and Nadia Siddiq of Year 9 took part and had to make a main course dish for two people using duck.  The dish Lucy and Mya chose to create was seared duck breast with summer berry jus, garlic mash and honey roasted carrots.  Petra and Nadia’s dish was duck breast with a black pudding rosti, beetroot, pickled mushrooms and a shallot dressing.

Sarah Redfearn said “They were fantastic ambassadors of the school and, although they did not get through to the final, they worked together well in their teams in creating their dishes and made a good impression on the two guest judges, one of whom was local chef Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor.

Mya said “I really enjoyed myself at the cooking competition, the chefs and the people from Blackburn College were really nice and welcoming.  People came up to us and said that our dish looked really good and told us we were the youngest ones there.  The competition was an unforgettable experience and I would definitely do it again.”

Lucy said “I really enjoyed the process and seeing the end product and it was definitely worth all the effort.  I was also really proud to have had the opportunity to represent Pleckgate.  I hope to get involved in more competitions in the future.”

Petra said “It was a once in a lifetime experience for me.  It was amazing and I had a lot of fun.  It’s not always about winning; it’s about taking part and having fun.”

Nadia said “It was a little stressful but a lot easier than I thought.  I did enjoy it.”