Hannah Smith, currently in her last year at Kelso High School, is the 17-year-old whiz in the Kelso Golf Club kitchen.
Her mum Katie, a professional chef who has run the club’s restaurant since 2006, is the inspiration behind her cooking: “I feel I need to beat my mum,” she said.
Hannah has been learning her skills from an early age.
“As soon as I turned 14, I started cooking. Winning the competition would be great: it would really boost my confidence, because I always get nervous. I’d like to make my mum proud of me.”
Describing her style of cooking, Hannah says: “I like good old-fashioned food – I can’t stand poncy stuff.
“I love cooking, I like making new dishes and experimenting. It’s great to make something new and think ‘actually that tastes quite good’.
“I would like to open my own restaurant one day.”
Her travels and family connections in Europe have also influenced her dishes.
“I love Italian food, French cuisine and German foodshe revealed.
These influences are evident in the menu Hannah has prepared for the competition judges and diners at Kelso Golf Club. Hannah’s meal begins with a starter of Portobello mushrooms stuffed with tomato and basil sauce, topped by mozzarella cheese and black pepper.
Her main course of slow-cooked beef is served on a bed of roasted Mediterranean vegetables with a red wine jus and a side of spätzle – a German dish of tiny dumplings.
A dessert of chocolate chip cheesecake with a mandarin and orange sorbet concludes her supper.