With all ten of the regional finals now completed, the line up of school chefs who will compete for the much coveted national title of the LACA School Chef of the Year 2019, is now revealed. The 2019 national final which takes place on Thursday March 7 at Stratford upon Avon College in Warwickshire, is expected to be a fiercely fought cook off.
The competition is the flagship event for school chefs to showcase their professional skills. It has been organised annually for over two decades by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) and is sponsored by McDougalls owned by Premier Foods.
New for this year’s national final will be the addition of two wild card competitors. As a result of the outstanding culinary expertise and some close results during the live regional heats, the judges have decided to award two extra places for the next best performing competitors.
Each of the 12 national finalists now taking part has an equal chance of clinching the education catering industry’s top competition award for 2019. The ten Regional Champions are:
•Sara Franklin, Campion School, Bugbrooke, Northamptonshire (Radish/Campion School)
•Katherine Bridge, Breachwood Green JMI School, Hitchin, Hertfordshire (HCL)
•Michelle Creed, Broadford Primary School, Romford (Havering Catering Services)
•Karen Cuthbertson, The Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh (Inspire Catering)
•Cheryl Allen, St Mary’s CE Primary School, Manchester (Manchester Fayre)
•Josefine Austin, Beacon Hill Primary School, Hindhead, Surrey (Surrey Commercial Services)
•Dave Leeper, The Trafalgar School at Downton, Salisbury, Wiltshire (Trafalgar School)
•Jane Jones, Ysgol Twm or Nant, Denbigh, Wales (Denbighshire County Council)
•Tanya Malone, Rugby Free Secondary School, Rugby, Warwickshire (Educaterers)
•Matt Betts, The Mill Academy, Barnsley, Yorkshire (BMBC Schools Catering Service)
The wild card competitors:
•Cheryl Humphries, High Weald Academy, Cranbrook, Kent (ISS Education)
•Steven Cross, Park Community School, Havant, Hampshire (Park Community School)
In addition to the kudos of winning the national title, the 2019 champion will receive a £1000 cash prize and the LACA 2019 School Chef of the Year trophy. The winner will also be awarded a work experience trip and an invitation to a calendar of high profile catering industry engagements between 2019 – 2020. The national second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of £500 and £300 respectively.