The hunt for LACA’s School Chef of the Year continues

06/11/2018 - 12:01
The hunt for Lead Association for Catering in Education’s (LACA) 2019 School Chef of the Year has reached the next stage, with around 50 school chefs qualified for the regional finals after the first round of judging.

Held in seven locations across Britain from the end of November 2018 to January 2019 with the chefs from all ten LACA regions, the event will allow them to showcase their skills when making their menus, which are expected to reflect the school standards to which every school in the country is set.

 LACA national chair, Michael Hales, said: “There is no secret formula to participating in the LACA School Chef of the Year competition. It just requires school cooks with passion, dedication and oodles of culinary skill mixed together with delicious, nutritious dishes prepared with creativity and flair.

“Every year, this competition allows us to demonstrate to the wider world both the professional expertise of today’s school chefs and the excellent meals they prepare tirelessly every single day in schools across the country.

“The impact that this has on the health and vitality of schoolchildren and young people cannot be underestimated. It underpins why all schools should provide quality nutritious meals every day. Our school chefs and their teams are totally committed to the role they play in educating children and young people about how food and eating better can help them achieve more, both academically and physically. LACA School Chef of the Year is a celebration of all that’s best about education in catering. I wish all of our 2019 contestants the very best of luck.”

Sponsored by McDougalls, owned by Premier Foods, the chefs have a maximum of £1.30 to spend and 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve an imaginative, school compliant two-course menu.

It must meet all the judging criteria, which includes the minimum of one different McDougalls product in each course and must also be suitable for serving en masse in school to 11-year-olds.

Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods and head of the judging panel, said: “After much deliberation between the judges and looking through the entries at the preliminary judging stage, we are excited to declare our regional finalists.

“It was such a hard decision as the standard of entry was so high – all entries demonstrated plenty of flair and creativity. As our first year sponsoring the competition we were so impressed, taking into account the strict time limit, the entries are a great representation of school catering up and down the country.

“We just want to say a huge thank you to all those who took the time to enter and support the initiative, it’s so key that children are served a delicious, nutritious and cost effective meal during their time in education. To all those who are through to the regional finals, we wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing your dishes truly come to life.” 

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