A YOUNG volunteer who helped promote home cooking at Burnham’s popular food festival has been recognised at the Pride of Somerset Youth Awards.

Madeleine Francis, 15, first expressed an interest in volunteering for the food festival after she won a local Rotary Club cooking contest.

She gave a single-handed cooking demonstration at the May 2013 festival to a large audience, answering their many questions and giving advice on baking. At the launch of the September festival the King Alfred School pupil confidently spoke to journalists about encouraging young people into home-cooking.

Madeleine did another demonstration at the September 2013 festival and was also a key part of the judging panel for the Great Burnham Bake-Off, with over 70 entries.

Upon receiving her Youth Award, she said: “It was an honour to be nominated by the food and drink festival. I have aspirations to open a patisserie in Burnham and this award has further encouraged me that I have great potential.”

Festival organisers praised Madeline for being an admirable ambassador for youth engagement and healthy eating.

Beverley Milner Simonds, festival director, said: “She has huge drive and independence of spirit and I am confident that she will inspire many other young people to learn to cook, be an active part of their community, and challenge themselves to speak up for what they are passionate about.”