Catering manager ran as School Chef of the Year

A school catering manager from Northumberland has competed in the finals of the North East and Scotland 2019 School Chef of the Year competition this week.

Carol Riddell, catering manager at St Paul's Primary School in Alnwick, represented the county at the regional final at Doncaster College on Wednesday, finishing in joint second place.

The competition is organised annually by LACA, the Lead Authority on School Catering, and Northumberland County Council’s school meals team has been supporting Carol with her entry.

Carol had to design a two course menu suitable for a school lunch which allowed her to show off her cooking skills.  It had to use fresh produce sourced locally wherever possible, and include an item from the McDougalls range - sponsors the event.  

The meal had to cost £1.30 to produce and there was a time limit of 90 minutes to prepare and serve it.  

To reach the finals Carol had to submit photographs of her dishes and provide costings and timings to the judges.

After many ideas, trials and taster sessions the final menu that Carol cooked in the final was:

Chicken Stoup
A homemade Chicken stew with tomatoes, vegetables and cannellini beans, served in a freshly made wholemeal bread roll and with green beans

Homemade Lemon and Raspberry Tart
A shortcrust pastry tart filled with raspberries and homemade lemon curd served with raspberry coulis and meringue teardrops

Carol faced strong competition from South Tyneside Catering Services and Mary Erskine school in Edinburgh and the judging panel included two eleven year old pupils. The winner was 

Councillor Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services said:  “It is brilliant that we had a school catering manager from Northumberland in these regional finals - where competition was very tough - and it just shows the high level of skill that we have within the school meals service in Northumberland.  I would like to congratulate Carol on reaching the finals, and her great second place.”



Pictured with Carol are her colleagues Rachell Ballantyne and Sheena Ellaby - catering staff at St Paul’s Primary School in Alnwick
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