School chef has the recipe for success

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A Derbyshire school chef cooked up a storm and won the regional heat of a national competition.

Rose Wallace, catering supervisor for Derbyshire County Council’s school catering service at Deer Park Primary School in Wingerworth, is competing in the School Chef of the Year competition.

She now goes through to the national final, to be held in March.

She said: “I am very pleased and excited to be part of the LACA School Chef of the Year Competition again. On my last entry, in 2011, I also won the regional heat and went through to the national finals.

“The menu I have chosen gives a balanced, tasty meal to the children and includes a dessert made with 50 per cent fruit. I will be very nervous until I start cooking but hopefully, once I start, I will be focusing on what I am doing and the nerves will go.”

As well as the kudos of winning the national title, the 2017 champion will this year get £1,000 and the LACA 2017 School Chef of the Year trophy, a commemorative plaque, a work experience trip and an invitation to a calendar of high-profile catering industry events between 2017 and 2018. The national highly commended main course and dessert winners will receive £500 each and commemorative plaques.

The annual competition puts the preparation, cooking, creativity, technical ability and presentation skills of school chefs to the test. Each entrant required to produce, in just one-and-a-half hours, a healthy, balanced two-course meal that would appeal to primary year six pupils (11-year-olds) at a cost of £1.30 per portion.

Rose, who has been a school chef for 33 years, created tasty Chinese wraps with seasonal noodles and homemade flatbreads followed by apple and blackberry surprise muffins.

The competition is organised annually by Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA).

Derbyshire County Council’s deputy cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Caitlin Bisknell, said: “I’m delighted that Rose is through to the final. We have very talented chefs working in our schools and this is another example of the quality of meals being served to our pupils every day.

“I wish Rose the very best and am sure that she will fly the flag for Derbyshire.”