Schoolboy cooks with Gino 

Schoolboy Matthew Wolfendale cooked with Gino D'Acampo
Schoolboy Matthew Wolfendale cooked with Gino D'Acampo

Nine-year-old Matthew Wolfendale was the lucky winner in a competition to cook with celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo.

The youngster, who attends Claypool School in Horwich, won a Bolton Council competition where pupils were invited to send in their ideas for a pizza or pasta recipe with a local twist.

Matthew cooked up his winning recipe of Goosnargh Duck and creamy pasta, with Gino at Bolton’s recent Food and Drink Festival.

As a special treat, the dish will now be served up for all the pupils at Matthew's school by Bolton Council’s school meals chef Phil Ogden on October 14.

Second place went to 11 year-old Lauren Bolton, from Blackshaw School, in Bolton, with her entry of spicy black pea and black pudding pizza.

Matthew said: “Cooking with Gino was brilliant, he’s one of my favourite chefs. I was shellshocked when I found out I’d won. Goosnargh’s local, I love pasta, and a lot of the chefs use duck but Gino doesn’t cook it that often so I thought I’d try it.”

Gino added: “It’s very important to invest in young people and I think it’s brilliant that the council did a competition like this to encourage youngsters to cook.”

Councillor Akhtar Zaman, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “This was a fantastic prize for an aspiring young chef like Matthew. Our award winning school meals team are always looking for innovative ways to get our young people interested in cooking and the competition was a great way to do just that.

“We also wanted to encourage young people to explore local ingredients, which ties in how we source food - around 80 per cent of ingredients for our school dinners come from suppliers living in the area, compared with the national figure of 27 per cent.”

The authority’s school meals team saw off UK-wide competition, in July, to be crowned the Catering Business of the Year 2010 in the Awards for Excellence run by the Local Authority Caterers' Association.

Children in 96 primary schools in Bolton have been enjoying meals for £1 since January, following successful pilots since 2008 across two year groups.

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