SPAM fritters and lumpy custard have been consigned to the rubbish bin of school dinner history.
Masterchefs rolled up their sleeves in a bid to prove school dinners are no longer to be sniffed at. Stratford College hosted the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) – School Chef of the Year 2018 competition, which aimed to showcase the quality of today’s school meals.
Among the ten finalists was Southam Primary School chef Tanya Malone who secured her place in the national final after winning the West Midlands title.
Tanya attempted to woo judges – which included two current pupils in Lucy Ganner and Dan Sear from Alveston Primary School – with her signature dish of chilli chicken fritta main, and dessert of vanilla panna cotta with an orange tuile wave and fruit coulis caramel.
Tanya served the fritta with crushed new potatoes, creamy spinach, coconut sauce, green beans and carrot ribbons.
But the winning dish was cooked up by Michael Goulston from Stevenage – the first man to win in the competition’s history – who served oven baked southern crumbed chicken with gnocchi and vegetables followed by a coconut cheesecake.
LACA chair Tim Blowers said: “School meals play a pivotal role in laying the foundations for children’s future eating habits and their long term health. Not only do our front line chefs prepare tasty and imaginative dishes to tempt discerning taste buds but also nutritious meals that can make a major contribution towards altering eating habits and establishing balanced diets.
“Offering healthy choices in school and increasing awareness of dietary factors such as sugar intake and its impact on dental health, will not only help to establish healthier lifestyles and reduce obesity levels but also allow children and young people to achieve more both academically and physically.”
Visit laca.co.uk for more information.