Local student comes 3rd in Red Tractor Beef and Lamb challenge

8 December 2011

TV chef James Martin today awarded Francesca Leyshon from Harrogate Ladies College third place in the Red Tractor beef and lamb Mmmake it with Mince Challenge 2011 North East regional heats. The competition saw budding young chefs from the local area go head-to-head for the chance to be named Regional Winner. Contestants were judged for their recipe development and culinary skills as part of this prestigious cooking contest.

Hundreds of entries were received for this year’s competition and 47 youngsters from across the country were selected to represent their region at six cook-off events judged by James. During the tense North East heat each student had just one hour to prepare, cook and plate-up their own original recipe featuring beef or lamb mince Francesca Leyshon was Highly Commended in 3rd place after she fought it out against 6 other finalists.


Francesca Leyshon with James Martin

Francesca Leyshon impressed the judges with her Stuffed red peppers on a bed of vegetable pilau rice. Points were scored for originality, nutrition and presentation.

Speaking about Francesca’s achievement James Martin said:

The standard of entries this year was extremely high and Francesca has done exceptionally well to achieve third place. Her recipe was innovative, nutritious and well presented – but most importantly, it tasted great! A big well done to everyone who took part – it was clear that everyone worked really hard.

“It is now more important than ever before to inspire young people to cook properly and this Challenge is a perfect platform for them to learn about food, cooking and nutrition. I hope that Francesca’s success will encourage more young people from the local area to get cooking and try out new and different recipes.


Denise Spencer-Walker, Food Advisor for Red Tractor beef and lamb, said:

We received hundreds of inventive and exciting recipe ideas this year, so whittling them down to just 47 regional finalists was hard work. Francesca’s enthusiasm for good food really shone through and I’m sure they will go onto achieve great culinary success in the future. I hope that all the students who entered will be inspired to make cooking a bigger part of their day-to-day lives both now and in the future.


The Red Tractor beef and lamb Mmmake it with Mince Challenge is a cookery competition for 11-16 year-olds who are passionate about food or pursuing a career in the catering industry. The Challenge was introduced by EBLEX* to engage, educate and inspire students to get hands-on cooking experience. Entrants were asked to submit their own original, nutritious and creative recipes using beef or lamb mince, together with a photograph of the finished dish. Students were also asked to supply a cooking method, time plan and cost breakdown within a strict budget of under £10.

With a recent study showing that 60% of young people are leaving home without the skills to cook a basic meal like Spaghetti Bolognese, it’s important, now more than ever, to give young people the support and skills needed to cook simple recipes. www.5by25.com is a new campaign, sponsored by EBLEX, helping to support young people in mastering five basic recipes by the age of 25.

For more information on the Red Tractor Mmmake it with Mince Challenge please visit www.simplybeefandlamb.co.uk/mincechallenge or www.facebook.com/simplybeefandlamb

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