Corinne Du Preez, the 2013 South East Finalist, has taken the title of LACA School Chef of the Year 2013. She was voted Britain’s No 1 school chef by a panel of judges at the National Final held at the Foodservices Wing, Defence Logistics School, Worthy Down, Hampshire on May 15th.
The competition is organised annually by LACA and is sponsored by Maggi from Nestlé Professional.
Corinne’s winning dishes were a main course of poached fillet of pollock with arabic salad and tagine sauce served with coriander and garlic flatbreads, followed by a dessert Moroccan date and cinnamon cake.
She used Maggi Rich & Rustic Tomato Sauce and Maggi Vegetable Bouillon in her main course and Carnation evaporated milk light and Nestlé Carnation Caramel in her dessert.
Corinne (47) is employed by Caterlink working for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead at Kings Court First School in Old Windsor, Berkshire. She helps prepare around 95 meals a day for 4–9 year olds.
(You can watch a video presentation of SCOTY 2013 national final plus see ITV Meridian Tonight's coverage of the event by clicking on the links below)
Click here to watch the video of the 2013 final
On winning the national title she said: “I was so proud to have won the national title. With the standard in the competition being so exceptionally high, I felt it was an achievement in itself to compete with such a talented group of people.
“All of this just goes to prove what a good job school chefs do, day in, day out, up and down the country to provide tasty, nutritious meals for millions of children.
“I am fortunate to have a great team within my company and authority, all of whom have backed me and helped me throughout the competition.
“I hope that this achievement will also serve to reassure parents everywhere about the high quality, balanced and tasty meals that are provided, not only in my school, Kings Court First School but across the length and breadth of the country.
“My employer Caterlink, my authority Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, my school. my colleagues and my pupils are all absolutely thrilled and honoured by this success.
“I am looking forward to an exciting year as the new LACA School Chef of the Year 2013”.
She said that as a mother of four she recognised the need for children to meet their daily nutritional requirements, but at the same time believed that meal times should be fun.
“I have a great passion for art and like to make use of vibrant colours in my cooking. I believe that children eat with their eyes and that meals should be as pleasing to the eye as they are to the palate.
“Using fresh bright produce is certain to spark their appetites and encourage children to try new foods.”
In her spare time she enjoys water colour landscape painting and baking, saying she enjoys the creativity of designing and icing children’s birthday cakes.
Among her other career highlights was having the honour of planning, producing and serving a five-course meal to members of the royal family aboard a private aircraft charter to Moscow.
The winner of the Highly Commended Main Course prize was Pamela Jamieson from Cumbrae Primary School, Isle of Cumbrae, Scotland for her dish of ravioli with tomato sauce and parmesan breadstick – ricotta cheese-filled ravioli served with a tomato sauce and parmesan breadstick.
The winner of the Highly Commended Dessert prize was Dalila Christopher from St Stephen’s Church of England Primary School in the London Borough of Lewisham for her dish of ginger and orange cheesecake with coconut drizzle.
The Marketing Certificate of Merit went to Isobel Gill, Mobile Primary Cook with Warwickshire County Caterers. This award is made to acknowledge the creativity and efforts put into the display tables produced by the finalists as a backdrop to their dishes.
Service counter marketing is one of the eight judging criteria in the competition and judges said Isobel won this category for her “highly creative, fun and inspiring themed table display”.
The 10 School Chef of the Year 2013 National Finalists, came from across Britain and all work at the frontline of school catering, with first-hand experience of the challenges of feeding both children and young people.
Demonstrating their cooking skills as well as how healthy and creative school meals can be, is important to all the school chefs. This is why they feel taking part in the School Chef of the Year event is such a great opportunity to show just how much school meals have changed for the better.
Chair of the judging panel at the 2013 National Final was Justin Clarke, food development chef for Maggi at Nestlé Professional. He was joined by a professional chef judge (Ross Anderson, Specialist Instructional Officer, Foodservices Wing, Worthy Down), a local authority catering professional (Jacqui Webb, LACA), a leading dietitian (Jasmine Challis, British Dietetic Association), the LACA School Chef of the Year 2012, Alison Gann from Battle, Sussex, and 11-year-old schoolchildren Anna Gurung and William Redding from South Wonston Primary School, Winchester, Hampshire.
Commenting on the standard within the competition, LACA National Chair, Anne Bull said: “Through LACA’s School Chef of the Year Competition, we can send a clear message to head teachers and governors of all schools, as well as to parents and young people, about how important it is for all schools to adhere to mandatory nutritional standards for food provision.
“Our talented front line staff need their continued support in order to ensure high quality, nutritious school meals as well as tasty, highly creative and appealing dishes.
“These meals can make a major contribution towards altering eating habits, changing diets and decreasing obesity levels which in turn, research has shown, will help children and young people to improve their academic and physical performance.”
Head of food at Nestlé Professional Susan Gregory added her congratulations: “Every year we are impressed by the chefs’ ability to create healthy, nutritious and tasty meals on a limited budget.
“School dinners continue to remain high on the news agenda and LACA School Chef of the Year is an important opportunity to showcase the talent and passion of the people who feed our nation’s children.”
The annual competition aims to put to the test the preparation, cooking, creativity and presentation skills of chefs. Each entrant is required to produce, in just one and a half hours, a healthy balanced two-course meal comprising a main course and dessert designed to appeal to 11-year-olds.
A maximum of £1.50p is allowed for the cost of a single meal (i.e. main course and dessert) for one child.
Competition sponsor, Maggi at Nestlé Professional included an extensive selection of its products in the competition basket to help contestants enhance the creativity of their menus. These included Maggi Rich & Rustic Tomato Sauce, Maggi Bouillons, Maggi Original Vegetarian Gravy, Maggi Mashed Potato Flakes and new Maggi Liquid Concentrated Fonds, as well as Maggi Béchamel Sauce, and Maggi Demi Glace Sauce too.
Contestants must use a minimum of two Maggi products in their main course and any Nestlé product can be used in their dessert.
FOR INFORMATION ON THE 2014 COMPETITION CLICK HERE
See below the latest announcments for LACA School Chef of the Year: