A DINNER lady from Richmond has turned up the heat on her rivals by being crowned regional School Chef of the Year.
Joanne Simpson, 42, won the Yorkshire and Humber title in a cook-off at Hull College yesterday, where she impressed the judges with her main course of Yorkshire Farmer’s Plate – featuring Wensleydale and Yorkshire ham tart – followed by Swirl of the Dale for dessert, a rhubarb and raspberry custard roulade with fresh raspberries.
Mrs Simpson, who had been based at Reeth Community Primary School but now works across North Yorkshire, said the secrets of being a good school chef were “dedication and enjoying your job”.
The mother-of-two added: “We do get lots of feedback. They really compliment you if they’ve enjoyed it but they are quick to tell you if they didn’t.”
Mrs Simpson will now go through to the national final in May.
Anne Bull, chairman of organisers the Local Authority Caterers’ Association, said: “School chefs are passionate about the role the play in educating young people about food and eating better.”
Also taking part in the cook-off were Janice Russell, from Maltby Academy in Rotherham, and Audrey Harris from Saint Bede’s Roman Catholic Academy in Scunthorpe.