Skip to main content


Bisto sponsors 2023 School Chef of the Year competition

30 Nov 2022
Sponsored by Bisto from Premier Foods, LACA’s School Chef of the Year competition is now open for registrations and expects to attract some of the very best school chef talent from across the country.

The competition is open to all kitchen-based staff involved in the daily preparation of pupils’ meals in schools across the UK, whether from a local authority or contract-catered site, managed in-house, academy school or part of a Multi-Academy Trust.

The full competition rules and comprehensive list of Bisto and Premier Foods ingredients available to this year's contestants have been revealed. Competitors must use a minimum of one Premier Foods ingredient in both their main course and dessert. Judges will be looking for innovative and creative ways the products have been used in the finished dishes.

The national final will be held at the LACA Main Event on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. The overall winner will be announced on the evening of Thursday 6th July. The 2022 SCOTY winner Tom Armstrong will return to help judge the final.

Regional final winners will each receive a £100 cash prize and at the national final, the 2023 national winner will receive a £1,000 cash prize, the 2023 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy and an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events. The national second and third place winners will receive £500 and £300 respectively.

Sarah Robb, foodservice marketing manager at Premier Foods, said: “LACA School Chef of the Year has been one of the highlights of the school catering calendar for many years and so we are excited that Bisto is sponsoring the event this year. We’ll be supporting and celebrating the chefs who get involved throughout the process and can’t wait to be part of the judging panel to help find the next star of school meals. 

“The Premier Foods foodservice team, work with chefs across the UK and we’ll be encouraging as many as possible to get involved and submit an entry. It’s a great way to test and develop your skills whilst potentially putting your school on the map.”

School chefs have until Friday 27th January 2023 to register. Register here:

The LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) is now in its 29th year and has drawn national attention with the annual winners often appearing on TV to showcase school cooking.

LACA chair Brad Pearce commented: “The School Chef of the Year competition is one of the highlights of the LACA calendar.  Talented school chefs from across the country will be honing their skills and battling it out across the regions to secure their place in the finals which are now firmly a part of the LACA Main Event in July each year.

“We’re delighted that returning as sponsors for the SCOTY Competition 2023 are Premier Foods and their Bisto brand. I can’t wait to see how creative this years’ entrants will be with their dishes and look forward to the upcoming heats and final and celebrating the winner at our Gala Dinner and Awards Evening.  Good luck everyone.”

LACA – the school food people, was established in 1990 and is the leading professional body representing over 1,000 members drawn from across the school food sector representing public sector and private contract caterers and suppliers to schools, academies, and MATs across the UK.

Read the entry rules and criteria in the SCOTY 2023 entry pack.

SCOTY timing schedule:

  • Competition launch – w/c 31st October 2022
  • Entry pack forms available online 30th November 2022
  • Registration deadline – Friday 27th January 2023
  • Deadline for entries to be received – Friday 3rd March 2023
  • Paper judging by Friday 24th March 2023
  • Regional finalists notified by Friday 31st March 2023
  • Deadline for revised forms – Friday 15th April 2023
  • Regional Finals – late April to June 2023
  • National Final – Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th July 2023 at LACA Main Event