CaptureSPARKLERS and popping candy caught the judges’ eyes and tastebuds in a three-course cook-off for college house glory.

Students spent the morning preparing and cooking a starter, main course and dessert as the three houses at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, staged its annual Yes Chef competition.

A spectacular cake featuring fireworks and popping candy tipped the balance in a close run culinary competition that saw Galatians house win the day.

Ashleigh Pulla, Josh Steer and Hannah Waterfield were commended for their menu of beetroot and apple soup, complete with homemade plaited bread, Asian-themed barbecue and spectacular firework cake.

Chief judge Douglas Jordan, chairman of NECTA, the North East Culinary Trade Association, said: “The food was bright, vibrant, tasty and well cooked. The standard was exceptionally high and the students performed well under considerable pressure.”

Josh said: “I took part last year and wasn’t happy coming third, so I have spent a year thinking of the menu and am delighted to win.”

Hannah added: “I think it would be great to be a professional chef and am really pleased to be in the winning house.”

Organised by technology teacher Louise Glover, the cook-off is designed to test students’ ingenuity, inventiveness and catering skills.

Mrs Glover said: “Students have to take part in a cupcake-making competition to qualify for the team and they really enjoy competing in the kitchen.

“For the judging, the sixth form students provide the audience and everyone really enters into the spirit.”