A Cirencester Deer Park student has made it to the final stages of a national cooking competition.

Leon Woolley is one of five school children in the year 7-8 category of the Young Pea Chef of the Year 2019 competition which challenges children aged 4-16 to develop a creative recipe using frozen peas.

The 'Yes Peas' campaign, which represents the UK’s pea vining sector, joined forces with The Ocado Foundation again for a second year running to launch the national competition which received over 200 entries from budding young chefs across the UK.

Leon’s recipe for Pea, Mint & Ricotta Ravioli has beat off hundreds of hopefuls to be selected as one of the final five by an expert panel of judges, including TV chef Rachel Green, a representative from The British Growers Association, the Ocado Foundation’s Suzanne Westlake, representatives from Greenyard Frozen, Beeswax Dyson and East Coast Viners.

The next stage of the competition calls upon the public to show vote for their favourite recipe.

Finalist have until Tuesday, June 25 to earn as many votes as possible.

The young chef with the most votes in each of the three categories will be crowned Young Pea Chef of the Year 2019 for their age group and will win a £500 donation from the Ocado Foundation, to go towards ‘Grow Your Own’ projects for their school, as well as a personalised hamper for each winner to take home.

Leon is buzzing to have made the final with his Italian dish.

He said: “Vegetarian Italian cooking is my favourite cuisine, and I used lots of Italian influences to come up with this recipe. It was fun to make peas the star of the dish and my family really enjoyed the finished recipe, so I am glad it made it into the final."

TV chef and 'Yes Peas!' campaign ambassador, Rachel Green added: “We were overwhelmed to receive over 200 entries into this year’s Young Pea Chef of the Year competition – the highest number of entries since we kicked off our first competition four years ago.

“I’m so pleased that parents and teachers supported the Yes Peas! campaign and encouraged children to enter.

"The standard this year is extremely high and we’ve seen some really inspiring creations – I can’t wait to see who wins the vote! We’d like to congratulate Leon on being chosen as a finalist and hope Gloucestershire residents show their support by voting for him!”

Suzanne Westlake, Head of Corporate Responsibility from the Ocado Foundation also said: "We're delighted to be helping inspire children to eat well and really enjoy experimenting with delicious, healthy ingredients. We've seen some very innovative recipes and can't wait to see which three budding chefs the public vote for!"

To vote for your favourite recipe, visit the Yes Peas! Facebook page where they will find information on all the finalists and their pea-inspired recipes – www.facebook.com/YesPeas or via

this link


To find out more, visit youngpeachef.co.uk.