22 July 2015

As Celebrity Masterchef returns to our screens, 14-year-old Solihull School pupil Benedict Harding is celebrating winning his own version of the cooking challenge.

Beating off three rounds of stiff competition from his fellow pupils before reaching the final, Benedict created a three-course menu which impressed guest judges Richard Marshall, head chef at Lea Marston Hotel, and Lewis Walker, culinary arts lecturer at University College Birmingham.

Given the task of producing British dishes which had been influenced by another country or culture, Benedict cooked a starter of salmon and paneer fish cakes with mango salsa, a main of Indian spiced cod and spiced potato wedges with chick pea puree, and a dessert of cardamom and rosewater kheer with a pistachio crumb topping.

Helen Hallworth, teacher of food technology at Solihull School, said: “Benedict’s dishes were judged to have an excellent combination of flavours. He demonstrated a wide range of skills during the competition and all plates were presented beautifully.”

Fellow finalists Adam Beaumont, 14, and Ella Furber, 12, were also highly commended for their date and banana crumble and Indian cottage pie.

Last year, Solihull School alumni Jack Lucas was awarded second place in the popular BBC series Masterchef, losing out to fan favourite Ping Coombs.

To find out more about Solihull School, or to reserve a place at the next open day on Saturday September 26, please visit or call 0121 705 0958.