Steven Cross from Havant, Hampshire has scooped the national title of LACA School Chef of the Year 2019. He was voted Britain’s No 1 school chef by a panel of judges at the National Final which took place on 7 March at Stratford upon Avon College, Warwickshire. Steven was one of two wild card entrants awarded a special National Final place by the Judges.
Now in its 25th anniversary year, the Competition is the flagship event for school chefs to showcase their professional skills. It is organised by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) and is sponsored by McDougalls.
Steven’s winning dishes were:
Main Course: Rocking Moroccan Chicken – marinated chicken chargrilled and served with homemade Moroccan flatbread and roasted harissa vegetables garnished with mint yoghurt, nasturtium, chilli and mint.
Dessert: North African Rose – North African rosewater and cardamom cheese cake accompanied by blood orange, chocolate and mint.
Amongst the ingredients included in his main course was McDougalls Self Raising Flour and in his dessert, Steven used McDougalls Chocolate Cookie Mix and McDougalls Orange Jelly.
“I am so proud to have won the national title. With the standard and skill level amongst this year’s finalists being so high, I felt it was an achievement in itself just getting through to the national final, let alone being able to compete with such a talented group of people. All of this just goes to prove what a good job school chef’s do, day in, day out, up and down the country in providing tasty, nutritious meals for millions of children,” commented Steven.
In addition to the kudos of winning the national title, the 2019 champion received a £1000 cash prize and the LACA 2019 School Chef of the Year trophy. The winner has also won a work experience trip and an invitation to a calendar of high profile catering industry engagements between 2019 – 2020.
Steven Cross is based at Park Community School, Havant, Hampshire where he prepares 4 – 500 meals a day for 11 – 16 year olds. He has been a school chef for five years.