School children in the East of England are being encouraged to go back to basics and cook from scratch using locally sourced food.

Hundreds of pupils have been competing in the East of England Agricultural Society’s Schools Challenge which reaches it conclusion at the East of England Show on 13 June.

After two weeks of closely fought heats, which saw the Year 9 and 10 pupils develop their own menus and cook in front of professional chefs, eight teams are now set to battle it out in the final.

Each team will cook a two course meal in 45 minutes using locally sourced ingredients supplied by the East of England Agricultural Society’s ‘Food Direct From the Farm’ initiative.

Dishes include stuffed trout and pan fried pork. The winning team will get the chance to test out their skills in the kitchen of a top London restaurant.

Alan Webb, Managing Director of the showground, said: “As cooking becomes more about convenience, it is becoming more and more important to teach children the enjoyment of cooking and eating healthy, locally produced food, both for themselves and for the environment. The sense of achievement when the children bring their dishes out of the kitchen is great to see.”