Katherine Breckon has been named LACA School Chef of the Year 2016.
The Yorkshire and Humber regional winner, who works at Westcliff Primary School in Whitby for North Yorkshire County Caterers, was voted Britain's top school chef at the national final held at Stratford Upon Avon College yesterday (10 March).
Her winning entry was a main course of St Hilda's spicy beef pot, Caedmon cross-bread, Bram Stoker sweetcorn and 199 steps croquettes - a beef chill with garlic cornbread, sweet potato and butternut squash croquettes.
She followed it with Dracula's bat-tastic baked lemon cheesecake - a light baked lemon cheesecake on an oat cookie base served with a berry compote.
This was Breckon's fourth time of making it to the national final but she was in complete shock when her name was called out at the presentation evening at the Stratford Manor hotel.
She told The Caterer: "I can't believe I won. I didn't think I would be able to go up to the stage as I couldn't stop shaking. It's such an amazing feeling. I can't stop smiling, I'm like a Cheshire cat.
"The competition gets tougher each year. I'm so happy to be an ambassador for school meals."
The winner of the highly commended main course prize was Annette Graham from Roger de Clare First CofE School (Hertfordshire Catering). Shereene Weston from John Ball Primary School (Chartwells Lewisham) was awarded the highly commended dessert prize.
The marketing table certificate of merit went to Sharon Hornby from St Chad's Primary School (Lancashire County Council Catering).
All 10 finalists appeared on BBC's TheOne Show the evening before the final.
Peter McGrath, national chair of LACA, said: "The competition has never had such exposure before. It's great to show the nation just how good our school chefs are."
Before the overall winner was announced he told the contestants: "You should all be proud of your achievements, not just in the competition but with what you do day in, day out."
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