SCOTY 2014 shortlist announced for regional finals
18/12/2013 - 15:53

LACA has announced the entrants who have successfully qualified from the first stage of LACA School Chef of the Year 2014. Forty three contestants will now go through to the ten Regional Finals to be held around Britain in the early part of 2014.

Heats will be held in:
Eastern – Luton – 22 Jan
East Midlands – Nottingham - 21 Jan
North East & Scotland – Gateshead - 30 Jan
Yorkshire & Humber – Doncaster – 31 Jan 

West Midlands – Stoke on Trent – 6 Feb
North West – Manchester – 7 Feb
London – Croydon – 27 Feb

Wales – 3 Mar
South West – Plymouth – 4 Mar
South East – Surrey – 18 Mar).

The 2014 Regional Finals look set to be as closely contested as in previous years and school food providers nationwide will be aiming for their contestant to earn the much coveted title of LACA’s best education catering chef for their Region.

Each regional winner will go on to represent their LACA Region at the National Final scheduled for May 2014.

The line up of dishes in the menus at all of the Regional Finals is not only impressive but also shows exceptional culinary expertise, confidence and flair.

Ingredients, flavours and adventurous themes have been drawn from exotic locations right across the globe. To give a hint of just some of the creative and imaginative main courses that will challenge the taste buds of the judges at each of the Regional Finals, a small selection of the dishes, chosen at random, are included here: Indian Flavoured Stuffed Chicken Breast; Spanish Cocido; Thai Turkey Curry with Stir Fried Vegetables, Steamed Rice and Pak Choi; Caribbean Medley; Peruvian Chicken;  Senegalese Chicken with Vegetable & Lemon Couscous; Malaysian Beef Stew with Pineapple and Red Pepper Salad & Basil Rice.

Desserts are equally as exciting and compelling – from Jamaican Blue Drawers; Matchu Pitchu Chocolate Pots and Pyramid Panna Cotta to Waspberry Wobble; Apple & Cinnamon Samosas and Superhero Biscotti.

The Competition is organised annually by LACA (Lead Association for CAtering in Education) and is sponsored by MAGGI® from Nestlé Professional®.  School Chef of the Year has been organised annually by LACA for nearly two decades and is perhaps even more important now than in previous years.

The competition aims to show the high quality of school meals to parents and the important contribution they can make to not only the health and wellbeing of their children but also their physical and educational attainment.

This annual competition really puts the preparation, cooking, creativity and presentation skills of school chefs to the test. Each entrant is required to produce, in just one and a half hours, a healthy balanced two-course meal comprising of a main course and dessert that would appeal to eleven year olds in school. A maximum of £1.60p is allowed for the cost of a single meal (i.e. main course and dessert) for one child.

With the Competition rules requiring recipes to reflect the global influences on school meals and the ethnic and cultural mix of a school’s pupil population, competition sponsor, MAGGI® at Nestlé Professional® has included an extensive selection of its products in the competition basket to help contestants’ enhance the creativity of their menus. Products include MAGGI® Liquid Concentrated Fonds, such as MAGGI® Asian Liquid Concentrated Fond, as well as MAGGI® Coconut Milk Powder, MAGGI® Devil’s Jam, and MAGGI® Rich & Rustic Tomato Sauce. Also included are MAGGI® Original Vegetarian Gravy, MAGGI® Mashed Potato Flakes, MAGGI® Béchamel Sauce, Docello® Crème Brûlée Mix and Docello® Panna Cotta Mix.  The contestants are required to incorporate a minimum of two MAGGI® products in their main course and any Nestlé® product can be used in their dessert.

Chair of the Judging Panel for all of the Regional Finals, as well as the 2014 National Final, will be Justin Clarke, Food Development Chef for MAGGI® at Nestlé Professional®. On the Judging Panel for each Regional Final will be a professional local chef, an education catering professional (Jacqui Webb, LACA), a leading dietician (Jasmine Challis, British Dietetic Association) and a Year 6 boy and girl from a school near the venue  of each Regional Final.

The LACA School Chef of the Year 2013 (Corinne Du Preez from Berkshire) will be invited to sit as a Judge at the National Final.