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18 Apr 2019

The search for Britain’s next LACA School Chef of the Year is now underway - school chefs are invited to register to take part in the search for the 2019 national champion. 

McDougalls from Premier Foods are the new sponsor for 2019 and have provided a comprehensive list of products for competitors to include in their menus, which should reflect the school food standards.

Head of the 2019 Judging Panel is Mark Rigby, Executive Chef at Premier Foods who will oversee each stage of the new Competition from the preliminary judging round in late October 2018, at all ten of the Regional Finals (November 2018 – January 2019) and at the National Final (March 2019).  Joining Mark on the panel will be an education catering expert (Sharon Armstrong, LACA) and a catering industry professional guest judge at each location. 

Entrants have 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve an imaginative, school compliant two course menu including a minimum of one different McDougalls product in each course, suitable for serving to 11 year old pupils, Year 6 or Year 7.

The 2019 Competition is open to all staff that hold a kitchen based post and who are involved in the daily preparation of pupil’s meals at the time of entry. Entries may be submitted by any school meal provider whether local authority, contract caterer, academy or free school.

Regional Final winners will each receive a £100 cash prize.  At the National Final, the 2019 National Winner will received a £1000 cash prize, the 2019 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy, an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events and a work experience trip.  The national second and third place winners will receive £500 and £300 respectively.

The first stage is to register your interest.


Download the entry pack with the full rules, judging criteria and terms and conditions plus all the forms you need to complete and return your entry are below, including the list of McDougalls ingredients to use as you plan your dishes. 

Completed entry forms must be returned by Wednesday 17th October 2018 for the paper judging stage.

If you have any questions, call the competition organisers on 0845 108 5504 or email