Charleston Academy Cook up a Highland Feast

Two pupils from Charleston Academy have won the coveted title of Highland Feast Junior Chefs of the Year at the Tesco Battle of the Chefs. They were Caitlin Grainger and Leanne Maitland, from Charleston Academy.

The event, which took place in the OneTouch Theatre in Eden Court, and was kindly supported by Tesco, The Highland Council, the Inverness Common Good Fund and Ian MacDonald Insurance & Financial Services, challenged the contestants to an adrenaline fuelled cook-off in which eight participating teams from secondary schools across the Highlands fought against the clock to create innovative yet healthy meals.

Throughout the day, the participant’s dishes were scrutinized and devoured by the panel of judges, who whittled the number of contestants down from eight teams to two successful finalists.

The participating pupils - a mix of 3rd year and 4th year pupils – were from Charleston Academy, Culloden Academy, Dingwall Academy, Fortrose Academy, Inverness High School, Inverness Royal Academy and Tain Royal Academy with the finalists coming from Inverness High School and Charleston Academy. This was a fiercely fought contest with the eventual winners, Caitlin Grainger and Leanne Maitland, hailing from Charleston Academy. Their three course menu over the day consisted of Seared local wood pigeon with chanterelles and Black Isle Beetroot vinaigrette, a main course of Rothiemurchus trout with crushed potatoes, watercress and red onion salad and a parsley and lemon crème fraiche, followed by warm poached pear with local wild brambles and heather honey yoghurt.

Caitlin Grainger from the winning team said: "We are so pleased to win this event and be crowned Highland Feast Junior Chefs of the Year. We have had great fun planning our recipes and sourcing the local produce for our dishes. We really enjoyed cooking and this event has let us experiment in the kitchen and try out new styles of cooking."

Tesco Battle of the Chefs is one of many events in the culinary calendar during the month long Highland Feast food and drink festival. The festival aims to showcase the diverse range of quality food and drink produced throughout the Highlands and Islands. Further information relating to Highland Feast can be found at

22 Sep 2008