AL FRESCO dining was on the menu as pupils at a Basingstoke school competed against each other in an outdoor cooking contest.

Students in Years 7 and 8 at Cranbourne Business and Enterprise College, worked in teams or pairs to produce dishes to be enjoyed outside, such as barbecue food.

Staff from the school, in Wessex Close, judged the first round of the competition and selected nine teams to go through to the semi-final.

Three successful teams were then chosen to compete in the final, for which a twist was introduced to further challenge students.

Each team had to select an item of food from a mystery bag, and then use it in their cooking.

Supermarket Sainsbury’s sponsored the event, and put money towards the ingredients used. Representatives from the company also came along to Cranbourne to help judge the competition.

Jack Cottrell and James Wicks, both 13, were declared the winners, after impressing judges with their millionaire shortbread, pork stroganoff stuffed peppers, and layered fruit dessert. Their mystery ingredient was peppers.

Jane Koster, progress manager for Year 9 and a design and technology teacher, said: “We are hoping to produce a cookbook with the recipes created by the students.”

The winning team received a cookbook signed by top chef Michael Roux.