Whitby school chef cooks up a storm

The School Chef of the Year 2011 regional final held at Hull College. Overall winner Katherine Breckon.
The School Chef of the Year 2011 regional final held at Hull College. Overall winner Katherine Breckon.
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YOUNG gourmets at Whitby’s West Cliff primary school are tucking into top class lunches thanks to their award winning cook.

Kath Breckon has won the regional final of the School Chef of the Year, a competition held annually by the Local Authority Caterers Association.

Her win has qualified her to take part in the LACA national final in Birmingham in May where she will compete against nine other top school chefs from throughout the country.

Kath, who has been cook at the school for two-and-a-half years, is no stranger to culinary success. She also won the regional finals last year and was runner-up at the national final.

She said|: “I’m delighted to be through again and I think it’s fantastic to win for two years running.”

Competitors have just one-and-a-half hours to prepare dishes for a themed menu and produce a healthy two-course meal appealing to 11-year-old youngsters at a cost of £1.35 a head.

The menu must include local ingredients and reflect seasonal availability. Kath entitled her themed menu Beside the Seaside and it comprised crushed new potatoes steamed with ling on top, tomato sauce, minted peas and a garden salad. She said: “You can’t get anything fresher than local ling.”

Her dessert had a Captain Cook flavour - diced mangoes with a mango coulis, starfish biscuits and a lime syllabub recalling the exotic food the Whitby explorer encountered on his historic voyages.

The school’s head teacher Christina Zanelli said: “We’re incredibly proud of Kath and delighted that she’s won.

“We all enjoy her food every day. I’m a vegetarian and my favourite is her veggie pizza but she also does fantastic fish and chips and her mango dessert is delicious.

“Her dishes are always beautifully presented – she’s a real perfectionist.”

If Kath wins the final she’ll be awarded with a trophy and a cash prize and a day’s vocational experience.