BUDDING chefs will get to battle it out to win a nationwide cooking competition to help fund school projects.

The Young Pea Chef of the Year, run by the Yes Peas campaign is officially open for entries and is on the hunt for young chefs in primary and secondary schools.

Rachel Green, campaign ambassador and TV chef, said: “We’re thrilled to be returning in 2019 with the Young Pea Chef of the Year, now in its fourth year.

"The quality of entries we receive year-on-year is continuing to increase, especially after the introduction of the older category last year."

The project, supported from The Ocado Foundation, hopes to encourage more young cooks to get involved and learn about healthy eating.

Children have to create dishes using Britain's favourite vegetable, the garden pea.

Rachel added: "We received over 200 fantastic recipes from children from across the UK in 2018, so we’re very excited to see what this year will bring.

"Thanks to the continued support from The Ocado Foundation for a second year, we hope to encourage even more young cooks from the South East and the rest of the UK to get involved and learn more about cooking with the Great British pea.”

Young chefs will get the opportunity to impress a panel of judges, such as TV chef Rachel Green, Suzanne Westlake and representatives from the British Growers Association.

Suzane Westlake, head of corporate responsibility at The Ocado Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased to be supporting such a lovely competition for the second year running.

"The quality of entries from last year was fantastic and we’re thrilled to be able to support young chefs and their schools with the tools to grow their own peas and continue with their cooking ambitions."

Five finalists from each category will then be voted by friends, family and schools and those with the most votes will win a £500 donation from The Ocado Foundation to fund their own 'Grow-You-Own; projects in schools and a personalised cooking hamper.

Visit youngpeachef.co.uk to enter the competition - closing date is April 26.