A 14-YEAR-OLD Ross High School pupil beat secondary pupils from Edinburgh and the Lothians to advance from the local finals of the FutureChef competition.

Bartek Kocot, an S3 pupil at the school, cooked up a winning meal for judges and will now represent East Lothian at the regional level of the competition, organised by Springboard FutureChef to inspire young people to cook.

Bartek was chosen to represent Ross High at the heat because of the standard of his cooking in class and his efforts to practise dishes outside of school hours.

He competed against four other pupils at the school in their own heat, then in round two competed at an event at Edinburgh College, Granton Campus last Thursday against pupils from secondary schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The dishes were judged by professional chefs Glyn Stevens, Stephen Frost and David Bell.

Due to his success, he will now compete in the penultimate round of the competition – the regional finals, which will take place in Glasgow on February 4 – ahead of the national finals, which are held in London later next year.

His dishes were: herb and panko crusted cod with mashed potato, sweet potato with a parmesan crisp; and berry poached pear with cookie snap biscuit and cream cheese.

Jennifer Hart, home economics teacher at the school, said: “We are all so proud of Bartek, especially as he designed the dessert himself.

“The judges normally only choose one pupil out of Edinburgh and the Lothians; however, they said that the standard of dishes was so high that they decided to choose Bartek from East Lothian and Katie from Castlebrae Community High to represent Edinburgh City.

“They said they were very impressed and that they have never seen such a high standard of dishes at the local final.

“We were lucky enough to have executive training chef from the Apex Hotel John Newton as Bartek’s mentor so thank you to him for all his expertise and support.”

Ross High headteacher Paul Reynolds said: “I am thrilled for Bartek. He really put his all into the local finals and it was great to see this pay off.

“I would also like to thank his teacher, Jen Hart, who supported him so well throughout the process. We wish Bartek the best of luck in the regional finals.”