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A young Sunderland baker has risen to the challenge

A young Sunderland baker had the chance to work with professionals on her prize-winning muffins.

Harper Scott-Cousins, a pupil at Richard Avenue Primary School, beat stiff competition to bake the perfect muffin as part of an inter-schools competition.

Richard Avenue Primary School pupil Harper Scott-Cousins, with, from left, Sunderland College City Centre Campus Vice Princpal, Judith Quinn, Sunderland College Curriculum Leader of Hospitality, Rob Stewart, and Coun Amy Wilson.

Richard Avenue Primary School pupil Harper Scott-Cousins, with, from left, Sunderland College City Centre Campus Vice Princpal, Judith Quinn, Sunderland College Curriculum Leader of Hospitality, Rob Stewart, and Coun Amy Wilson.

As part of her prize, the eight-year-old was invited along to the kitchens at Sunderland College’s City Centre Campus.

Harper worked with Curriculum Leader (Hospitality) and head chef Rob Stewart, who helped use her original orange choc-chip recipe and design to recreate a professional version of her prize winning muffin.

The mouth-watering finished cakes were then decorated and put on sale at the Bistro for staff and students to enjoy.

Harper’s original muffins were put on the menu at schools across the city when she won the competition, organised by Sunderland City Council, as part of School Meals Week.

I would love to open my own cafe one day

Harper Scott-Cousins

The youngster was joined at the college by Coun Amy Wilson and Sunderland College City Centre Campus Vice Principal, Judith Quinn, to sample the prize winning muffins.   

Rob said: “Harper was brilliant today, she wasn’t phased at all about being in a busy, professional kitchen and just got on with it and was remarkable for someone of her age.

“If Harper’s skills and talents represent the future of the industry then we are all very lucky.”

Harper said: “I enjoy baking and love making up my own recipes.

Harper Scott-Cousins using the industrial oven.

Harper Scott-Cousins using the industrial oven.

“It was great learning new skills from a professional chef and exciting to be baking in a working kitchen.

“When I leave school I would like to go to college to study baking and cooking, as I would love to open my own cafe one day.”

Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Coun Louise Farthing said: “Congratulations again to Harper and her family for her culinary achievements, and I’m sure everyone including Harper can’t wait to see and taste what a professional chef creates using her winning recipe and design.

“We want to do everything we can to encourage children and young people in our schools to explore and demonstrate their talents, and competitions like this help to inspire their interest and continued personal development.”

Mixing it up - Harper Scott-Cousins works on her muffins.

Mixing it up - Harper Scott-Cousins works on her muffins.

The original competition was organised to celebrate the school meals service which provides fresh, nutritious meals to more than 12,500 pupils at 81 schools across the city.

More than £3.7million investment from the city council over recent years has provided new kitchen equipment and dining facilities across a number of schools in Sunderland.

The finished product - Harper Scott-Cousins with the orange choc-chip muffins.

The finished product - Harper Scott-Cousins with the orange choc-chip muffins.