The School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) competition has hosted the first regional final with two school chefs advancing to the national final, which will take place at the LACA Main Event on 12-13 October in Birmingham.
Eight schools chefs cooked at the University of West London Ealing for a place in the final. The heat winner was Raheem Morgan (pictured centre) from Cooper Lane Primary School (Chartwells) who cooked bao bun delight as his main and a zesty lemon and berry tart for dessert.
His menu included a light and fluffy bao bun with a sticky oriental sauce, with stir fry noodles and vegetable. For dessert he created a zesty lemon tart with a raspberry filling with an extra special coconut pastry.
Competitors were tasked with creating a main meal, using at least one Quorn product, alongside a 50% fruit-based dessert that should reflect the school food standards.
Entrants had 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare, cook and serve a school compliant two-course menu that is suitable for 11-year-old pupils in primary year 6 or secondary year 7.
Karen Bevan from Stromness Primary School, the North East & Scotland contestant, joined the morning heat in a virtual cook-along and is also through to the national final in October.
Bevan cooked Taiwanese-style steamed bun with sticky Quorn pieces and crunchy vegetables for her main and for dessert she made a filo pastry spring roll case filled with a light raspberry cream cheese filling.
Prior to the start of the competition, LACA chair Stephen Forster commented: “This new partnership reflects the current shift to reduce the amount of meat in our diet, which is also emerging as a major feature of school menus.
“We know school children are interested in the environment along with healthier eating and they are demanding more meat-free choices on their school menus.”
The regional final runner-up was Michelle Creed from Broadford Primary School (HES Catering). She created a Quorn mince stuffed pepper with a nacho crumb served with blackbean rice and fresh dips as her main course and for dessert she made sweet potato, oat and date brownies served with fresh raspberries, mint and crème fraiche.