A Derbyshire school chef has proved she has the recipe for success after winning the regional round of a national competition.
Gail Boyce, a catering supervisor for Derbyshire County Council’s school catering service, works at Bolsover Junior School.
The 39-year-old has won the east regional final of the School Chef of the Year competition.
Now she will compete at the Local Authority Caterers’ Association (LACA) national final being held in Winchester on 21st May.
Gail, who has worked at the school for eight years, said: “I was confident I had a good menu but was still shocked when the judges told me that I had won.
“The judges mark you on a range of criteria including taste, planning and preparation, presentation and how you are working in the kitchen.
“I’m looking forward to the final and can’t wait to represent Derbyshire and the region.”
Gail’s challenge was to prepare a nutritious main course and a dessert suitable for a young person for a budget of £1.60 and in just one and a half hours.
Her winning menu was a Chinese Quorn steak served in a tortilla wrap with a sweet and sour sauce and summer berry rice flavoured with coconut, a berry puree and tuille.
Gail, who will be up against 12 other regional winners in the national competition, is no stranger to success.
Last year she won a gold award and was named Best in Class in the cold canapés category of LACA’s Finishing Touches competition.
Coun Kevin Gillott, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I’m delighted that Gail is through to the national finals of the School Chef of the Year competition.
“We have very talented chefs working in our schools and this is another example of the quality of meals being served to our pupils every day.
“Gail’s menu reflects our ethos that by feeding children healthy, nutritious meals we will be giving them the best possible chance to achieve.
“I wish Gail the very best in the national final and am sure that she will fly the flag for Derbyshire.”