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Swansea student wins Bacofoil Student Cook of the Year

26th January 2015

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A student from the University of Swansea has won £1,000 and been named Bacofoil’s Student Cook of the Year after a cook-off final at Michel Roux Jr’s cookery school in London.

Zoe Edwards, from Surrey and studying Zoology at Swansea, impressed the judges, including celebrity chef Sam Stern, with her professionalism during the cook-off, which saw three finalists competing to see who could create the best dish from an existing salmon in puff pastry recipe.

Cactus Kitchen, On St Luke’s Avenue in Clapham, the cookery school of Michel Roux Jr. as well as the filming location for Saturday Kitchen, and played host to the event on Friday 23rd January.

Students were asked to enter the competition last year by tweeting a photograph of a chosen recipe with the hashtag #BacofoilStudentCook, and over 100 entries – including one hopeful who submitted a photograph of their plate of beans on toast – were made.

A shortlist was selected by a panel of judges - Stern, Bacofoil Marketing Manager Melissa Wilkinson, Olive Magazine Deputy Editor Lulu Grimes and founder of Kitchen Coach Justine Kanter.

Three finalists were then invited to the cook-off in London, where they were presented with a recipe and given an hour and a half to create it.

Zoe, who is currently on a year-long internship at an animal rehabilitation centre on the Gower Peninsula before her final year, first impressed the judges with her twitter entry of a recipe for salmon teriyaki on lemon, chilli and ginger noodles, with stir fry veg.

Her salmon in puff pastry, with a side of potato salad, also came up trumps when judged on preparation, presentation and taste.

The runners-up received £100, as well as an engraved serving spoon for taking part.

Zoe says: “I wouldn’t have expected to win at all. But I do love cooking, and when I’m in the kitchen I don’t really think about anything other than cooking.”

She adds that she has “always cooked” but started to make proper dishes – “fajitas, Chinese, simple things” – around the age of 13. Her first big success, she says, was “a little chocolate fondant with cinnamon ice cream” which she made for a family dinner party.

She credits her favourite chefs as Jason Atherton and Tom Kerridge.

See other entries to the competition on the Bacofoil site here.

See more photographs from the event below.

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