Culinary ingredients

Calling all school chefs...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Do you feel it's time to shine as a school chef? Do you want to showcase your everyday talents? Find out below how you could fly the flag for you and your school in LACA School Chef of the Year 2018.


LACA School Chef of the Year Recipe



  • A school chef with a passion
  • A healthy menu suitable for 11 year old pupils (Year 6 or 7)
  • Innovative use of MAGGI® and Nestlé ingredients
  • Use of sustainable products (e.g. Red Tractor, MSC)
  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Your own light cooking equipment.
  • 90 minutes to prepare, cook and present



  • Create 4 portions of both main course and dessert for £1.30 a head (£5.20 total).
  • Devise a time plan for 90 minutes cooking time. All ingredients must be freshly prepared on the day.
  • Complete entry form with all ingredients listed and costs (any disposables to be included).
  • Provide relevant allergens for the recipe from the 14 allergens.(find out more information about food allergen labelling from the FSA).
  • Present main course on white 9” (23cm) plates, round or square, dessert presentation to reflect the recipe.
  • All main course dish elements to be served on the 9”plate, a small jug or dish of sauce can accompany the main course.
  • Photograph your main course and dessert and include with your entry form.
  • Cook meal en masse at your school and photograph (minimum 20 portions). Submit the photograph with your entry form.



Registration closesFriday 29 September 2017
Closing date for entriesFriday 20 October 2017
Entry assessment daysw/c 30 October 2017
Regional finalsBetween November 2017 and January 2018
National finalists briefing dayJanuary 2018 (specific date to be confirmed)
National final*Thursday 8 March 20918

*Taking place at Stratford upon Avon college with a presentation dinner that evening at Stratford Manor Hotel; the winner will be interviewed at the LACA National Seminar on Friday 9 March 2018.



Each regional final winner will receive a prize of £100. A second place will also be awarded at the regional finals. National final winner will receive £1,000 cash prize plus work experience trip, 2nd place will receive a £500 cash prize, 3rd place will receive a £300 cash prize.


Judging Criteria

At the regional finals, Judges will be assessing the entries based on the criteria below.

All entries start with maximum points so by keeping as close to this criteria when devising your entries will increase your potential score.

1. Use of MAGGI® / Nestlé Products (10 marks available per course)

A minimum of one MAGGI or Nestlé product to be used in the main course and a minimum of one MAGGI or Nestlé product to be used inthe dessert.

  • Use of product
  • Innovation / application
  • Knowledge of product
  • Quantity of product used in recipe and where used, have the sponsor’s products been used in the meal in a substantial way?

2. Working Practices in the Kitchen (15 marks available per course)

  • Time plan
  • Cooking methods as submitted
  • Organisation of work flow
  • Knife skills
  • Correct use of chopping boards as per universal code
  • Ecoli compliance
  • Use of probes (correct knowledge of core cooking temperatures)
  • Use of sanitiser
  • Food hygiene practises
  • Personal hygiene (clean tidy / hair tied back & covered / no jewellery etc)
  • Food storage
  • Minimum wastage, no over production.

3. Creativity and Tasting Table (10 marks available per dish)

  • Originality of dish
  • Description of dish matches taste
  • Portion size; relevance to age group in accordance with the School Food Standards
  • Eat Well Guide followed
  • Balance of ingredients
  • Appealing to eye
  • Suitable garnish for meal
  • Use of sustainable products
  • Use of local products

4. Flavours / Appearance / Aroma / Taste and Texture (10 marks available per dish)

  • Balance between main course and dessert
  • Blend / harmony of food
  • Variety of textures
  • Seasoning
  • Relevance to age group in accordance with the school food standards; low salt and sugar

5. Ability to Create en Masse... what changes would be required to produce 100 meals?(5 marks available per dish)

  • Recipe changes required
  • Where recipe changes were recommended at paper judging feedback, were the actions addressed?
  • Skill set required to produce the meal

Pupil Judges

At the national final, the judging panel will include two 11 year old pupils who will judge on the following criteria and will have 10 points per course to award.

Cooking in the Kitchen

  • What have you seen?
  • What have you learnt?
  • Would the dish go down well in your school?
  • How did it look on the plate?
  • How did it taste?

Tasting Table

  • Does this tell you enough about the menu?
  • Look at the Eatwell Guide to see how well it matches