Telford school cook in bid for top culinary title

Madeley | News | Published:

A cook at two Telford schools will battle it out in the kitchen in the hope of winning a top culinary title.

Zoe Scheepers, who is the chef at Abraham Darby Academy and Woodlands Primary School in Madeley, will go head-to-head with seven school chefs in the regional heats of the School Chef of the Year competition.

It will be held at Cityserve Kitchen in Birmingham on December 5 and the winner of the West Midlands heat will compete in next year's final in Stratford-upon-Avon for a chance to be named school chef of the year and win £1,000.

Against the clock and under the scrutiny of a panel of judges, mother-of-three Ms Scheepers will have to prepare four portions of a main course and a dessert suitable for serving to 11-year-olds in school.

The contestants will have 90 minutes.

Ms Scheepers, aged 33, of Wellington, has been working for Catering Academy for the past six months.

She said: "I'm a bit nervous but I'm looking forward to it.

"For my main course I am making a rustic vegetable lasagne with a cauliflower cheese twist. I wanted to create something packed full of vegetables.

"My pudding is cheerio cheesecake. I've made them both for the children to try and the feedback has been really good."


The line up of dishes on this year’s contestants’ menus include Brummy yummy balti cottage pie, braised beef medallions topped with a cheesy cobbler and southern fried chicken meatballs with super grains coconut rice and organic honeyed carrots.

Desserts include fruiti-misu, coconut and mango crumble with cinnamon creme fraiche and beetroot and mashed potato marble sponge with winter compote and pink custard.

The other West Midlands finalists are Phil Bennett, of Kidderminster; Lee Taylor, of Coventry; Lorna West, of Birmingham; Tanya Malone, of Southam, Kelly Chisholm, of Cannock; Matthew Knight, of Birmingham and Christopher Townshend, of Birmingham.

The winner from this regional heat will go on to represent the whole of the West Midlands, against nine other regional champions, in the national final on March 8 next year.

A runner-up award will be made at the regional final at the discretion of the judges.


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