Mini Pizza Pockets at Leggo’s Junior Chef Challenge 2013

Kids Showcase Talent in Cooking Competition

Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge4
Mini Pizza Pockets

Leggo’s, the number one brand for authentic pasta sauces in Australia under the mother company Simplot, organized a fun-packed cooking competition called “Leggo’s Junior Chef Challenge” for kids aged ten to fifteen. Themed “Pasta Bake,” the young participants whipped up scrumptious dishes using only Leggo’s range of pasta bake sauces namely Ricotta & Spinach and Creamy Tomato & Mozzarella at Young Chefs® Academy (YCA) at Desa Sri Hartamas.

Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge3
Avinash Austin & Chow Qin Rhu

Mini Pizza Pockets Recipe

Ingredients:
For the Bread dough:
• 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
• ½ pkt of instant yeast
• 1 tsp of sugar
• ½ cup of warm water
• ½ tsp of salt

For the filling:
• 3/4 cup of chopped chicken slices/ sausages/bacon
• 1/4 cup of cream cheese
• ½ of mozzarella cheese
• ½ of fresh spinach leaves
• 1 tsp of oregano
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/2 bottle of Leggo’s Tomato Spinach Ricotta sauce
• 1 egg (for egg wash)
• 1 tsp of sesame seeds
• 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese
• 1 tsp of oregano

Method

Step 1: the bread dough
– In a small bowl, pour in warm water and yeast, mix well.
– In a food processor, add in flour and salt. Turn on the food processor and gradually pour in the yeast and water mixture until flour becomes a small.
– Remove from food processor and begin to knead the dough for about 8 minutes.
– Then, put the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rest in a dark and warm area in the kitchen.

Step 2: the Filling
– In a medium bowl, mix all filling ingredients together and set aside.

Step 3: Shaping the pockets
– Once dough has doubled in size, punch down the air from the dough and divide the dough into 4 pieces.
– Using a rolling pin, roll out one piece of the dough into 7” diameter circle, about 1 cm thick.
– Then place a ¼ cup of the filling into the centre of the dough. Brush the side of the circle with egg and gently fold the two sides of the circle together to create half moon shape. Ensure that the sides are sealed well.
– leave to rise for another 15 minutes in a warm place.

Step 4: Bake
– Place Pizza Pockets onto a grease baking tray.
– Brush egg all over the top of the pizza pockets.
– Finally sprinkles some sesame seeds, oregano, and parmesan on top of the pockets and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge1
School-going children demonstrate their incredible cooking skills as they participate in ‘Leggo’s Junior Chef Challenge’ at Young Chef® Academy

The cooking competition lasted for 1 hour 30 minutes consisting of sixteen talented kids from YCA as well as several enrolments from the children of the members of the media. There were two participants stationed at each cooking station. Possessing the skills just like their adult counterparts, one of them was seen preparing the ingredients whereas the other was in charge of cooking.

The outcome was certainly a delight to watch as there were many interesting dishes presented on the judging table. The panel of judges – Chef Sarah (also known as Chef RaRa) from YCA, Saw Kok Kheng from Simplot and Sidney Kan, the President of Culinary Association Malaysia evaluated each and every of dish based on five criterias – Taste, Cleanliness, Teamwork, Presentation and Creativity. The guests and members of the media also contributed 20% to the final score through their votes.

Leggo's Junior Chef Challenge2

Saw Kok Kheng, Commercial Marketing Assistant Manager of Simplot Southeast Asia and also one of the judges said, “Loaded with fresh tomatoes, premium cheese with no artificial preservatives, no artificial colours and artificial flavours, Leggo’s pasta sauces contain only the most authentic and exquisite ingredients.” She added, “The main reason why we organized this competition is to bring out the talent from these young participants and also to allow them to experience something new with our Leggo’s Pasta Bake sauces. We are certainly very amazed with what we have witnessed today.”

Team 4 emerged as the champions when they wowed the judges with their creation of Mini Pizza Pockets using Leggo’s Pasta Bake sauce. The grand prize winners gleefully walked home with the cash prize of RM1,000 and also RM300 worth of hamper comprising Leggo’s products and culinary sets. Sathyashini Suresh and Adam Mohamad Helmy from Team 3, the first-runner ups received RM500 cash prize and RM200 worth of hamper products followed by Robin Chan and Sean Ng from Team 1, who were the second-runner ups. The team bagged RM300 cash prize and as well as hamper products worth RM100. Other participants did not go home empty-handed after all the hard work as they were also given Leggo’s products worth RM120.

Grinning from eye to eye, Avinash Austin and Chow Qin Rhu from the winning team said, “We are so happy to win this! We have been practicing for more than a week and are extremely elated to be announced as the winners!”
Brian Chen, Managing Partner of YCA said, “We are very happy to be collaborating with Leggo’s to come up with such an interesting competition for the kids. It has been a joyful process to teach and practice with them prior to this competition so that they can further hone their cooking skills.”

Opened since 2011 in Malaysia, Young Chefs® Academy (YCA) is a unique culinary experience which offers cooking classes to children aged 3 to 17 in a safe environment that encourages discovery and creativity. Each visit to Young Chefs® Academy is a new experience with fresh monthly themes and exciting new programs. In addition, each class and event incorporates supplemental subject matter which ties into each theme. Their staffs consist of highly qualified teachers, chefs and nutritional experts to carry out their mission by providing an interactive learning experience that gives children the opportunity to develop a life-long love for the culinary arts.

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