SCHOOL chef Jose Davies Kochakkadan, from Marston Green Infants Academy, has won a ‘highly commended’ award for his innovative and delicious dessert in the prestigious School Chef of the Year Competition 2017.
The annual cook-off, organised by LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) and sponsored by Maggi from Nestle Professional, challenges school cooks to prepare a two-course meal suitable for a 10-year-old, on a budget of just £1.30 for ingredients.
Jose, who beat chefs from Birmingham and Coventry to take the regional title, showcased his culinary expertise against nine other top UK school chefs in the national competition at Stratford-upon-Avon College on March 2.
He impressed the panel of chefs and catering professionals with an Indian inspired main followed by mango frangipane using mashed potato as a twist.
After winning the regional award, Jose said: “I would like to thank all my colleagues and family for their support and blessings for helping me to retain West Midlands School Chef of the Year for 2017 and put Solihull Catering Services on the map.”
Beverley Elliott, Headteacher at Marston Green Infants Academy added: “The competition helps to promote the fantastic food that is being created by school chefs and their expertise and dedication in preparing healthy meals that entice young palettes and cater for the diverse needs of children, as well as being sensitive to children who have severe allergies.”
Councillor Ken Meeson, Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, continued the praise: “We are delighted about Jose’s success.
“The LACA School Chef of the Year competition is a brilliant way of recognising the talent among school chefs and the hard work they put in to provide fresh, nutritious and tasty school meals for our children.
“Solihull’s Catering Service has a strong track record of providing high quality meals for children in Solihull and further afield.”