“Tasty, well-executed and highly professional” is how judges described Luton school chef Doreen Peacock’s meal at the LACA Eastern School Chef of the Year competition yesterday.
Doreen, a Luton Borough Council kitchen manager, was awarded the highly commended main course prize in the regional finals held at Barnfield College in Luton.
The challenge was to cook a healthy two-course meal in an hour and a half that would appeal to 11-year-olds, spending no more than £1.60 on the whole meal. Doreen cooked a Caribbean Medley featuring spicy lamb with cream rice, sweet rainbow kebab and chicken bites dipped in a refreshing relish followed by a tropical tart.
The annual competition aims to show the high quality of school meals to parents and the important contribution they can make to the health and wellbeing and physical and educational attainment of children.
Doreen said: “I was delighted to win another prize again in the School Chef of the Year competition. Each time I have competed I have been awarded the dessert prize so it was a pleasant surprise to win the highly commended main course this time. I love entering these competitions as it is a great way of showing off the skills of school catering teams.
“I’m very grateful to Lealands High School for the support that they have given me over the years.”
The overall winner of the heat was Tanya Watkin, of Woodland Middle Academy School in Flitwick.
Cllr Waheed Akbar, Executive Member with responsibility for children services, said: “Congratulations to Doreen on winning her prize. I’m sure she is a great asset to our talented and professional catering teams who deliver, nutritional, balanced meals, meeting government standards on a daily basis to many schools in Luton. This competition is a great way of demonstrating the quality of catering in the town.”