Northamptonshire chef triumphs as top school cook in the East Midlands

Sara Franklin has scooped the title of East Midlands School Chef of the Year 2018.
Sara Franklin has scooped the title of East Midlands School Chef of the Year 2018.

A Northamptonshire cook has been crowned one of the best school chefs in the country.

Sara Franklin has used her skills at feeding the 1,200 hungry pupils at Campion School, in Bugbrooke, to win the LACA East Midlands School Chef of the Year 2019 award.

She is now in the running to take nine of Britain's best from across the country at the national finals in March - where she could be named the best school chef in the UK.

Sara said: "It went really well. I was so nervous but I managed to stay focused and keep my head down. It's just such a confidence booster to win and it's good to challenge myself.

"There's a lot of things you have to think about. The food has to be school compliant over how much fat and sugar is in it while keeping it healthy and nutritious."

Sara triumphed at the regional heats yesterday (January 10) where she raced the clock to prepare four portions of a main course and a dessert suitable for serving to 11-year-olds in school.

She had 90 minutes to cook and the cost of a single meal could not be more than £1.30.

Sara wowed the judges with a chicken and sweet potato tikka masala with lime and coriander rice and a cumin and ginger naan bread. She lined up made a lemon and sultana sponge with lemon frosted topping for dessert.

Sara said: "I just want to say thank you to my colleagues and my managers at the school, as well as to my family, who have had to eat chicken curry every night this week while I practised."

The LACA School Chef of the Year Competition has been the flagship event for school chefs to showcase their professional skills for more than twenty years. It is organised by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) and is sponsored by McDougalls.