THE most talented young cooks in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire battled it out in the kitchen at the Create and Cook competition finals, with two Bourton-on-the-Water pupils named as the champions.

The winners, Lottie Oliver, 13 and Sophia Torris, 12, from The Cotswold School, went head-to-head with six other finalists to create a menu from locally-produced ingredients.

They fought off competition from Stroud High School, St Helen and St Katharine School in Abingdon and Icknield Community College in Watlington and wowed judges with their oven-baked Bibury trout stuffed with almonds, artichokes and mint, followed by meringue kisses with chocolate and berries.

The judging panel included award-winning chef Emily Watson from the Kingham Plough, who has taken part in and judged on the television series the Great British Menu and used to work with Heston Blumenthal.

Sophia said: “When we found out we had won, it was a complete shock as the other students’ menus were all so good. We put lots of hard work in to our food and it definitely paid off and taking part in this competition was a great experience.”