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Jody Iske becomes inaugural winner of LACA’s Grab & Go Challenge

06 Jul 2023
Jody Iske from Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate in York was named as the winner of LACA’s inaugural Grab & Go Challenge following a cook-off at the Main Event.

The competition challenged school chefs to design, cook and serve a nutritious food item that can be eaten ‘on-the-go’ by youngsters. Chefs were tasked to cook four portions of a grab & go meal or breaktime savoury snack with a total cost per head of 60p (to include food costs and serving item- box, cone, paper wrapping).

In the final Jody cooked Quorn Burrito - a flour tortilla filled with Quorn mince, Mexican rice and a spicy mayonnaise. He will be given a demonstration slot on the LACA Live feature today (Thursday 6th July) to showcase his winning dish.

Jody will also receive £500, a Green Street Kitchen concept for their school (worth up to £1,500) and the opportunity to work with the Quorn European culinary team.

He said: “I am over the moon. I think it only really sank in this morning after last night. I am just glad to be given the opportunity to come here and show my skills. Everything went to plan, which I was quite surprised about. Just because we had to bring all our own ingredients and all the equipment so obviously we were just worrying that everything survived the journey.

“On the day you are cooking in an unknown environment with the appliances which is always a worry. Yes I will definitely be introducing this grab and go recipe. We have made some Quorn burritos in the past but the display of it is a bit better because the students will be able to see what is inside of the burrito because I opened it up.” 

Jody said that following his Grab & Go victory he was planning to enter LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) competition next year.

The Grab & Go Challenge judges included Kate Snow, 2020 School Chef of the Year winner Holly Charnock and 2021 School Chef of the Year winner Rob Chambers. The runner-up was Angela Senyo from Childeric Primary School (Chartwells Lewisham). She cooked a cheesy Quorn Mexican muffin with charred corn and fresh tomato relish.

Kate Snow, senior home economist at Quorn Professionals, said: “We were looking for a dish where Quorn was used in a substantial way. It needed to be innovative, within the school guidelines nutrition wise, it had to be a cost of no more than 60p and also it needed to be child friendly because we wanted them to show how they used their children to help them develop their recipe. The standard from the two chefs was excellent. It was really difficult to choose either of them. Either of them could have been the winner. There was just a couple of marks between them.

“This competition is really important, especially I think with the grab and go because often children are eating it mid-morning and skipping lunch. So it’s a really important nutritious part of the day. By using Quorn we know they are getting protein, lots of fibre and they are getting a good substantial snack at break time even if they don’t eat lunch.

“Jody really took on board our recommendations from the first heat and he made some changes to the dish, tweaked it shall we say and it elevated the dish. He worked very neat and tidily. He has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the dish with the textures and flavours. He showed that he used his pupils. It was interesting, he did for the first time for his pupils and they fed back him that they would like it to be spicier. So he added even more spice.

“Quorn sponsored this competition because we wanted to work with LACA and showcase to other schools just how versatile Quorn is in how it fits into school menus. It’s a perfect opportunity to get people cooking with Quorn, cooking with the variety of products we have and showcasing all the different things you can make with it.”