Despite not having a clue who Ainsley Harriott is, our Olderz aced their Ready Steady Cook challenge last week! Discover the winning dishes below…

Two of the young people volunteered as captains with the aim of leading their respective teams to culinary victory! Once the teams were selected, they each set about menu planning whilst balancing their modest budgets.

Team 1’s main course budget planning

Beat the Budget

Presented with a £5 budget, the two rival teams could select from a range of ingredients on offer from chicken and chickpeas to tangerines and ice cream. Their mission was to make two delicious courses, which would be judged on both presentation and taste. Points would also be awarded for demonstrating harmonious teamwork in both the planning phase and the kitchen!

“Budget management is an important life skill for our young people to master – and they were all super organised with listing out ingredients and adding up the associated costs. They had to make compromises and adjustments on their recipes to come in under budget but they really rose to the challenge to achieve some delicious yet cost-effective dishes!”

– Daisy Miceli | Youth Worker

The teams get to work in the kitchen

Meal planning also fits with our goal of encouraging a healthy lifestyle among our young people – championing home-cooking with fresh ingredients over processed foods.

“I loved using the fresh tomatoes and limes with lots of seasoning to make salsa – it was actually really tricky to get the balance of flavours right though! I’m glad it tasted good in the end.”

– Youth Club Attendee | Aged 13

Culinary Creatives

Following the planning stage and with 45 minutes left on the clock, the teams reached for the chopping boards and hit the hobs to create their culinary delights.

Plating up!

After a heated half hour, it was time to start plating up and our young chefs turned their hands to some creative presentation – with stunning results as you can see below!

Team 1 dished up chickpea tacos and vanilla cream cake on a biscuit base, whilst team 2 served noodle nests with chicken and seasoned sauce, with a fruity sundae for dessert.


Team 1’s Main of Chickpea Tacos with Tomato Salsa & Dessert of Vanilla Cream Pie


Team 2’s Main of Noodle Nests with Spiced Chicken and Tomato Sauce & Dessert of Strawberry Sundae


Teamwork Triumphs

Presentation was top notch with both teams scoring a huge 4 out of 5 for their delicately plated dishes. But it was Team 1 that triumphed in the end by scoring maximum points for both taste and teamwork, which was a testament to their organisational skills and effective leadership.

Well done to both teams – the judges were seriously impressed with your enthusiasm and dedication to this challenge!

A tough decision for the judges!

Want to Give it a Go Yourself?

If you enjoy whipping up tasty treats, or if you’ve not really had the opportunity to try out your cooking skills yet but would like to give it a go, then pop down to our Olderz session to get some practice in the kitchen! Hosted at Docklands every Wednesday evening from 6.30 to 8.30pm, it’s a great opportunity for 12-16 year olds to develop their life skills, whilst having fun with mates.

Check Out What’s On HERE