Young Cornish chefs of tomorrow cooked up a storm in Falmouth last week as they vied for the top spot in the first round of a national contest.

Seven students from Penryn College took to their ovens last Tuesday to try and wow judge Phillipa Holden, from the Greenbank Hotel, in the local leg of the Rotary club’s annual Young Chef of the Year competition.

It was a close fought thing and last year’s winner Bryony Morgan very nearly took the title again, but she was pipped to the post by Poppy Pudner’s popular paprika chicken pasta.

Poppy, aged 13, also dished up some spicy tuna fishcakes and a raspberry fool with loveheart-shaped shortbread, much to the delight of the judge.

Rotary Club of Penryn steward and town mayor Gill Grant was on hand to witness the competition and said “it was brilliant.”

She said: “It was a really good contest, the students were of a really high standard.

“They moved around the kitchen with great confidence and it was very good.

“It was a very close competition and between all of them there were perhaps only one or two points in it.”

After Bryony in second, third place went to 13-year-old Jenny Dade with Abigail Lilly, 14, coming in fourth.

Victorious Poppy will now progress to the district round of the competition, sponsored by Cornish Food Markets, which will be held at Helston Community College in the New Year.

Last year’s winner at the Penryn College level went on to win the district final and competed in the regionals.