LACA’s School Chef of The Year Final is Taking Place in Birmingham this Week

The regional heats have been held across the country and this week, the best school chefs from across the UK will arrive in Birmingham to compete for the 2023 LACA School Chef of The Year title.

The regional finalists and two wild card competitors will take part in the national final at the LACA Main Event on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July 2023.

With the competition focus on producing nutritious and delicious meals for 11-year-old primary or secondary school pupils, the SCOTY competition is the perfect showcase for passionate school chefs to demonstrate what they do best every day.

Competitors had to use a minimum of one Premier Foods ingredient in both their main course and dessert during their regional heat. Judges were looking for innovative and creative ways that the competitors use the products in the finished dishes.

The regional final judges assessed the entries based on the following criteria: use of Premier Foods products, working practices in the kitchen, creativity and appearance as well as taste and flavour.

The school chefs had just 1h 30 minutes in which to create four portions of their two-course menu.

Dishes produced were inspired from across the globe – and the final is likely to see even more creativity.

Some finalists are back again, competing to see if they can take the crown this year, including Wales’ Joanne Cox who competed in 2017 and London’s Raheem Morgan who will compete in his fourth SCOTY final.

The prestigious school chef competition, School Chef of the Year (SCOTY), is run by LACA, the School Food People and sponsored by Bisto, from Premier Foods. The competition attracts some of the very best school chef talent from across the country.

LACA – the school food people, was established in 1990 and is the leading professional body representing over 1,000 members drawn from across the school food sector representing public sector and private contract caterers and suppliers to schools, academies, and MATs across the UK.

The LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) is now in its 29th year and has drawn national attention with the annual winners often appearing on TV to showcase school cooking.

The SCOTY regional finalists are:

East Midlands Region:
Lorna Nolan, Derbyshire County Council – Breadsall Primary School

East of England Region:
Brenden Eades, Felsted School

London Region:
Raheem Morgan, Chartwells

North West Region:
Paul Hardy, Midshire Signature Services – Tarporley High School

South East Region:
Mark Kent, Norton Knatchbull

South West Region:
Jennifer Brown, Sarum Academy, part of Atalian Servest

Wales Region:
Joanne Cox, Chartwells – Ysgol Y Graig

West Midlands Region:
Andrew Polymniou, Chartwells – King Edwards VI Aston School

Yorkshire and Humberside Region:
Kirsty McAndrew, Midshire Signature Services – Oakworth Primary School

Matthew Bennett, Aramark – Alsager School (North West Region)
James Noakes, Maidstone Grammar (South East Region)