ON your marks, get set, bake. Talented young chefs put their culinary skills to the test as they competed in a new contest judged by one of the best bakers in the country.

Eight teens aged 16 to 18 from Bury College and Tameside College rose to the challenge as the battled it out for the crown of the first Village Baker competition at the Village Hotel in Waterfold Business Park.

The finals were judged by ex-Great British Bake Off Winner, Candice Brown, who is food and drink ambassador for the hotel chain, alongside renowned Manchester chef, Aiden Byrne.

After donning their aprons and over gloves the finalists were tasked with a skills test using Candice’s choux pastry recipe to make exciting profiteroles with delicious fillings and toppings.

A show stopper challenge then asked the bakers to put a twist on a scone and saw innovative variations such as black pudding and Jaffa cake.

Candice said: “The final was incredible. Some of these contestants are fairly young, not even actual chefs, and just coming up with these amazing ideas and showing a skill level that is beyond their years.

“They have all got their qualities and their strengths and they are all still learning which I think is the most important thing, because when you stop learning you taking interest. And I’m probably the least experience here, I’m still learning, I just love baking."

Among the finalists was Bury College student Ben Donnelly who had been put forward by his tutor. Reaching the final was an incredible achievement for the teen who has only been cooking for around three months, and has already secured an apprenticeship at the Red Hall Hotel in Walmersley.

However, at the end of the contest, it was fellow Bury baker and Village Hotel trainee chef Scott Munro who took the inaugural Village Baker title.

He will now get to spend a day shadowing Aiden Byrne as well as being rewarded with a food and rink experience.

Scott said: “I’m over the moon that Candice Brown not only ate my scones but enjoyed them so much that I won Village Baker.

"It’s been such a fun day and so great to test our skills with some of the country’s top chefs.

"I’m looking forward to shadowing Aiden Byrne and developing my skills further. Who knows, maybe I’ll be judging the Village Baker contest one day.”

Cash prizes were also awarded to runners up Will Robinson and Chris Sawking from Bury College, and James Crook from Tameside College, to help towards their future careers.

Candice said: "Each and every one of the students were so passionate and creative with their bakes, I can’t wait to see where this journey takes them – Scott will be hot on my heels.”