A YOUNG cook from Lady Lumley’s School in Pickering has won a culinary competition judged by chef James Martin.

Nathan Bates won the regional final in a national search to find the next young cooking talent The 14-year-old wowed the judges of the Red Tractor beef and lamb Make It With Mince Challenge 2012, with his mince pie with roasted potatoes, parsnips and carrots.

Nathan won a touch-screen media player and chef’s whites as well as £200 in school kitchen equipment vouchers for his school.

He is now up against five other regional winners in the race to be crowned the overall national champion who will enjoy a trip to London and go behind the scenes at Saturday Kitchen to watch an episode filmed live.

Nathan said: “I thoroughly enjoyed entering the competition and I had been working on my idea for my recipe for a long time.

“I was really excited on the day to be through to the regional final and I was astounded that I was the winner but very, very happy with the result.

“I have wanted to become a chef from the age of five and this opportunity and experience has really focussed my passion for cooking in the future.”

Carolyn Willett, food tech teacher at Lady Lumley’s School, said: “We are so proud of Nathan here at Lady Lumley’s. He has really worked hard to achieve this success. He is a talented cook with a great interest and passion for food. I hope that his success will inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

“The competition is a regular feature at the school and always proves popular with a high the number of student entries.”

She added: “Nathan is a very keen and capable cook who really enjoys working with food. He fully deserves this success and it is a pleasure to see such enthusiasm. I look forward to watching his progress with interest.”