Two teams of budding young chefs from Hawke's Bay are among the top 12 school teams battling it out to try to win a place in a nationwide intermediate school cooking competition.

Havelock North Intermediate and Hastings Intermediate will take part in the Lower North Island regional finals of the annual MAGGI Kitchen Showdown.

In the regional final, each competing school team will have just 50 minutes to cook a main meal for four people using at least one MAGGI product and cost a maximum of $20 to make. The judging panel will then select the top team from each region to compete in the grand final where $5000 is up for grabs.

The Lower North Island regional finals will be on TV2's The 4.30 Show on September 18, giving the young chefs the chance to showcase their culinary skills.

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The 12 Lower North Island regional finalist teams are from; Hastings Intermediate, Havelock North Intermediate School, five teams from Palmerston North Intermediate, Wanganui Intermediate, Chilton St James School, two teams from Ferguson Intermediate and St Teresa's School. The winners of the regional finals will take part in the grand final on September 25.