Yorkshire school chefs' top dishes from rabbit pie to posh panna cotta

A rabbit pie with French peas, or panna cotta with a smattering of ginger rebel biscuits. At some settings in Yorkshire it seems, school dinners are simply more scrumptious.

Matt Betts from The Mill Academy, Barnsley, last year's winner of the regional heat of the LACA School Chef of the Year, working on his submission of mackerel tacos. Byline: Gary Longbottom

Next week, three of the region's top school chefs are to go head to head to be named best in Yorkshire, in a live Bake-Off style competition.

The three regional finalists are tasked with preparing, cooking and presenting four portions of a two-course meal suitable for an 11-year-old child.

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They will each have 90 minutes to complete the task, and can spend no more than £1.30 per meal.

Last year's winner Matt Betts, of The Mill Academy in Barnsley, is once again in the final three, offering up a dish of tempura vegetables and patty and then a coconut panna cotta.

He will take on Becky Crossley, from York High School in Acomb, with a Yorkshire twist to a classic burger and Minster themed mousse.

Last year's runner up, James Brown from Queen Ethelburga's College, is to test limits with Yorkshire rabbit pie and peas, and a trifle made from Yorkshire rhubarb, ginger and orange.

Chairman Stephen Forster said there was no secret formula to success: "It just requires school chefs with passion, dedication and oodles of culinary skill mixed together with delicious, nutritious dishes prepared with creativity and flair."

The regional heats are to be held at Barnsley College on January 8, with the national final in March.

Yorkshire is home to the birth of school dinners, with the first ever organised meals service being in Bradford over a century ago.

Green Lane Primary in Manningham was the very first school in the country to serve hot school dinners to its pupils.

On 28 October 1907, 750 children enjoyed scotch barley broth, fruit tart, bread and a mug of water.