A TALENTED youngster proved he has all the ingredients for success when he scooped first place in a national cooking challenge.
Rowan Armstrong, 12, beat off stiff competition from rivals across the UK to win the ‘Active Kids Get Cooking’ challenge in London.
And he even got a pat on the back from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who was one of the judges for the competition, which was organised by supermarket giant Sainsbury’s.
More than 11,000 schools registered for the scheme but it was Rowan who walked away with the top prize for his age group – and there was a double celebration when he was also named the overall winner.
Rowan came up with some mouthwatering ideas for the competition, including an ‘Oriental Tartan Pancake’ made with spring onions and Ayrshire bacon and ‘Kilted Kiwi Oaties’ made from hand-rolled Scottish oatcakes, with kiwi and lime jam.
His delicious creations were all washed down with a ‘Heilan’man’s Sombrero’ cocktail containing watermelon juice, lime and locally-sourced honey.
The dishes made it to the finals because they were found to be both creative and tasty, while also following healthy eating guidelines.
Rowan, a pupil at Lochwinnoch Primary School, told the Paisley Daily Express: “The competition has helped me learn about why breakfast is good for you and what types of food I should be eating.
“I was so excited about meeting Jamie Oliver and telling him all about my recipes.
“I took dishes from different regions of the world and added a Scottish twist for Homecoming 2009.
“The experience was unforgettable but I could not have done it without the support of my teachers, mum and many other people involved.
“I definitely want to become a chef but I also want to do a business degree as well.”
Scientific studies show that children who start the day with a healthy breakfast are more focused at school and find it easier to concentrate.
Not only was Rowan, who lives in Lochwinnoch, victorious in the Primary School category at the Active Kids Get Cooking challenge, he also won the Sainsbury’s Tip Card competition as his recipe was selected to appear on a future ‘recipe tip card’ produced by Sainsbury’s.
Jamie was particularly impressed with Rowan’s Oriental Tartan Pancakes and told the youngster that, if he wants to enter the industry when he turns 16, he should definitely look him up.
“The recipes these children have come up with as part of the Active Kids Get Cooking challenge show that starting the day in a nutritious way doesn’t need to be boring,” added Jamie. “There are some delicious ideas here which are bound to persuade more people to give breakfast a go.”
Councillor David Arthur, who represents Johnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch, has congratulated Rowan on his “terrific achievement.
He said: “It is an achievement that the whole of our community are delighted about and it is also very pleasing to see that Rowan has not only incorporated local produce in his recipe but has also supported local businesses.
“Jamie Oliver and the other judges are now certainly aware of our village, all thanks to Rowan and his natural talent.”