PUPILS at Alloa Academy cooked up a storm during a school heat for a nationwide competition.

They gave it their all and made a range of different cheesecakes on Tuesday, October 17, as part of the prestigious FutureChef contest.

The youngsters came across it during a hospitality and tourism takeaway hosted by Forth Valley College last month.

They met professional chef Mark Heirs, an ambassador for the competition, and decided to sign up.

He also paid a visit to the Alloa school on two different occasions, to tell S2 and S3 pupils a little bit more, and was on the judging panel during the event last week.

Nicolle Gibson, teacher of home economics, said: "Pupils were very enthusiastic and motivated to do well in the school heat.

"Some pupils went to lengths of making their own chocolate curls brought in from home in a cool bag so they didn't melt.

"Others brought in their own ingredients that they kept secret from others to give them an edge in the competition.

"It was great to see such good competition throughout the home economics department, everyone was talking about the competition.

"All pupils made cheesecakes, however, each got to choose their own flavours and garnish them as they pleased.

"This was a great opportunity for them to demonstrate their creativity and enthusiasm for food."

Winners of the round were Emily Forsyth, who made a vanilla and ginger cheesecake, and Cameron Graham, who went for a chocolate orange cheesecake.

Miss Gibson said: "Both decorated with flair, showed passion for cooking and had a positive attitude throughout the heat.

"I think this is an exciting opportunity for all schools as it shines a light on the hospitality industry and highlights the creativity and passion of pupils through cooking.

"This is another great chance for home economics to be seen in a positive light, promoting links with the hospitality industry and giving pupils opportunities to work closely with professional chefs and other professionals in the hospitality industry.

"We are looking forward to competing against the rest of Forth Valley in the Forth Valley Finals on Wednesday, November 22."

FutureChef, from Springboard, aims to support the food curriculum, teach life skills and promote healthy eating.

The competition is open to those aged 12-16-years-old who have an interest in hospitality.

There are four rounds and the final stage is judged by industry and celebrity chefs.