Top school chefs make small budgets feed big appetites

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The days of corned beef hash and bread and butter pudding seemed a long way off yesterday as seven of Yorkshire’s best school cooks served up prawn croquettes, pulled chicken tostados and pork and Parmesan ravioli in their bid for a place in the final of a national competition.

Under the clock and the scrutiny of a panel of judges at Doncaster College, the contestants in the regional heat of the annual School Chef of the Year contest had to prepare two-course meals suitable for an 11-year-old, on a budget of just £1.30 per pupil.

Food  being prepared by school chefs in the regional haet of the LACA School Chef of the Year 2019 contest,  at Doncaster College.

Food being prepared by school chefs in the regional haet of the LACA School Chef of the Year 2019 contest, at Doncaster College.

Matt Betts, of the Mill Academy in Worsbrough Bridge, Barnsley, was judged the winner, with a menu of battered mackerel tacos with rice, followed by strawberry supermousse. The runner-up was James Brown from the independent Queen Ethelburga’s School at York, who served Easingwold pork buns with lime and chilli dip, and cucumber, lime and lemon cheesecake for dessert.

A spokesman for the organisers, the Lead Association for Catering in Education, said: “The £1.30 limit reflects the budgets that school chefs typically have to work with.”