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Grab & Go Challenge

03 Jan 2023
LACA the school food people and SchoolGrid are delighted to be holding a second year of this competition, searching for the best Grab & Go recipe for the school meals sector.

Competitors are required to prepare cook and present four portions of a grab & go/breaktime savoury snack with a total cost per head of 80p.

REGISTER TO TAKE PART & DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM

Competition timings:

  • Register now and submit your entry form up until Friday 5th April 2024.
  • Entries will be paper judged with the best eight invited to cook off at a central location w/c 13th May 2024.
  • Three finalists will be invited to the LACA Main Event on Wednesday 3rd July 2024 to cook their grab & go item in a competition environment to decide the winner.
  • The overall winner will be announced at the LACA Informal Dinner on Wednesday 3rd July 2024.
  • The winner will demonstrate their winning recipe on the LACA Live demonstration theatre at the Main Event on Thursday 4th July.

Prizes

  1. £500 for the winning school chef, plus a £500 set of Wüsthof professional chef’s knives donated by SchoolGrid.
  2. 2nd prize - £250 for the second place school chef, plus a £100 Amazon voucher donated by SchoolGrid.
  3. 3rd prize - £100 for the third place school chef, plus a £100 Amazon voucher donated by SchoolGrid

Entry process:

  • Register your interest in taking part in the competition
  • Download and complete the entry form below including costing sheet and method to produce the dishes.
  • Submit completed forms to organisers along with at least one photograph of the finished dish.

Please also include the information below on how you have engaged with your students when developing and/or testing your recipes:

  • How did you involve students in the process? (max 150 words)
  • Please provide 1 or 2 images and/or video of the process (if students are pictured, only include those students with permissions for external use)
  • Please provide feedback from 1 or 2 students on your entry

Judges will review all entries to establish a long list of the best eight. These school chefs will be invited to a central location w/c
13th May 2024 to cook their dish to determine the final shortlist of three entries. 

All entries will be analysed by the SchoolGrid software to provide the nutritional breakdown, allergen detail etc.

NB: competitors will be expected to fund travel to the cook off along with all necessary ingredients to complete four portions of the finished dish for the elimination round.

The final shortlist of three school chefs will be invited to the LACA Main Event in Birmingham to compete for the overall title on Wednesday 3rd July 2024. Competitors would be expected to fund travel to the Main Event, the competition will fund overnight accommodation and a place at the LACA Informal Dinner where the winner will be announced on Wednesday 3rd July 2024.

The overall winner will be given a demonstration slot on the LACA Live feature on Thursday 4th July to showcase their winning dish.

REGISTER TO TAKE PART & DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM


Judging criteria:

Marks will be awarded for:

  • Originality of the finished dish.
  • How well the flavours and ingredients work together.
  • Variety of textures in the finished dish.
  • Appealing to look at.

The competition is open to all staff that hold a kitchen based post and who are involved in the daily preparation of students’ meals. Contestants may work in more than one kitchen as a mobile chef. Management, area managers, training managers or development chefs are not eligible to enter.

Entries may be submitted by any school meal provider.

Competition rules

  1. The competition is open to LACA members and non-members to enter and submit a recipe. Any non-members chosen to be one of the finalists in July would be required to join LACA to be able to take part.
  2. You will be required to produce four portions of a grab & go/ breaktime savoury snack item.
  3. Cost per portion not to exceed 80p for food and serving item. (to include food costs and serving item eg box, cone, paper
    wrapping).
  4. All ingredients/elements to be freshly prepared on the day of the competition.
  5. Competition time is 40 minutes to prepare, cook and present four dishes.
  6. The entry submitted must include the completed costing sheet, recipe method and at least one photograph of the finished dish.
  7. Deep fat frying is not permitted.
  8. In line with the new legislation in force, competitors should avoid single use plastics when preparing and presenting their finished dish.
  9. Competitors/employers will be required to fund travel to the elimination round cook off and national final of the competition, along with all ingredients required to complete the finished dishes.