kent cooks logo

Your Invitation to be a Kent Cook

Young people are invited to take part in Kent and Medway’s annual Masterchef-style event by preparing a dish that they have created, which they think is delicious, healthy and showcases their cooking skills.

The Kent Cooks judges love to see local produce being used so thought should be given to this.

Any child or young person aged between 6 and 19 years old may enter KM Kent Cooks. Finalists will be invited to cook their dish for our VIP panel at the live final on 24th November 2016 at East Kent College, Broadstairs.

The aim is to develop the confidence and abilities of young people to prepare meals to a fixed budget, as well as to increase awareness of healthy options and locally grown Kentish produce.

The finalists will not only have to cook their dish, they will also have to spend a few minutes explaining to the judges how and why they created it, so confident presentation skills are also needed.

Category – primary

  • Primary school pupils are asked to create one dish using a budget of no more than £2.50.
  • The child must prepare the dish in up to 90 minutes and will have the support of a trained mentor at the final.
  • A photo of the dish must be submitted with the entry.
  • Children as young as 6 years old may enter the Primary category but we stress that if they are selected to compete in the final they must be able to cook their dish independently and be prepared to do this in a professional kitchen.

Category – secondary

  • Secondary school pupils are asked to create two dishes using a budget of no more than £5.
  • The young person must cook unassisted if invited to the final and prepare the dishes in 120 minutes.
  • A photo of the dishes must be submitted with the entry.

Category – family

  • A child or young person to create two dishes alongside a parent/carer using a budget of no more than £5.
  • A separate photo of the dish and photo of the parent/carer and child holding the dish should be submitted with each entry.
  • If short listed the family team must prepare both dishes within 120 minutes at the live final.

Note: Extra credit will be given for dishes that are clearly healthy lifestyle in nature and / or use Kentish produce, however this is not critical to the chef’s success in this competition.

How to take part

Parents or teachers should complete the simple online entry form on the child’s behalf before midnight on Tuesday 1st  November 2016.

Got a question? Call the KM Charity Team on 0844 264 0291 (lo-call) £500


At the close of the competition all entries are presented to our panel of industry experts and sponsors for judging. They will pore over the hundreds of entries we receive and after much deliberation and debate shortlist just 13 people (3 Family category, 6 Secondary category and 4 Primary category entrants) who are then invited to the live final.


At the live final, the judges will mark each entrant on taste, technical ability, presentation, originality, healthy consideration and local sourced consideration. Marks are deducted for poor time keeping and or if the dish is thought to be over the allocated per head budget.