Fish dish could net dinner lady a national accolade

Regional winner Katherine Breckon, of West Cliff Primary School, Whitby.  Pictures: Gerard Binks

Regional winner Katherine Breckon, of West Cliff Primary School, Whitby. Pictures: Gerard Binks

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A DINNER lady netted success yesterday with a healthy dish of fish and chips which will see her representing Yorkshire in national finals.

Katherine Breckon, 38, who works at West Cliff Primary School in Whitby, wowed the judges - including two 11-year-olds – with her “fish and chips with a twist”, steamed ling, crushed new potatoes, salad and sundried tomato bread, followed by a lime syllabub and diced mango and coulis for pudding – all for under £1.35 per head.

Claire Blowers of Thornbury Primary School, Bradford, in action.

Claire Blowers of Thornbury Primary School, Bradford, in action.

Mrs Breckon faced rivals from Bradford, Sheffield and Leeds at the regional finals of the Local Authority Caterers Association School Chef of the Year contest, held at Hull College.

As well as coming in at cost, the meals have to meet rigorous nutritional standards, from the amount of salt to calcium they provide.

Judge Steve Oram said the winning dish was colourful and tasty – and the youngsters “absolutely loved it.”

He said: “It’s not just about what’s on the plate. It’s they work and the methods of work and it’s based on nutritonal analysis of the dish.

“Katherine worked cleanly and cleverly and the food looked fantastic.”

He said the two young judges from the city’s Victoria Dock Primary School, Henry Hodgson and Mollie Hunter, both aged 11, ate most of everything: “It means school dinners are improving and the message is getting across.”

A delighted Mrs Breckon said the fish had been caught by local skipper James Locker, aboard Our Lass 2, which was built in Whitby. She said: “Ling is part of the cod family but it’s more sustainable. It is quite a bit chunkier and flakier – and a lot cheaper.

The finals take place in Birmingham on May 18-19.

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