Skip to main content


LACA names 2024 School Chef of the Year regional finalists

27 Mar 2024
LACA, the school food people, has announced the regional finalists for the annual School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) competition, which is sponsored by Bisto from Premier Foods.

The competition is run by LACA and aims to demonstrate the importance of high-quality cooking in school meals.

Competitors must use a minimum of one Bisto product in their main course and one Premier Foods ingredient in their dessert. Judges will be looking for ‘innovative and creative ways’ the products have been used in the finished dishes.

The competition is open to all kitchen-based staff involved in the daily preparation of pupils’ meals in schools across the UK, whether from a local authority, contract-catered site, managed in-house, academy school or part of a Multi-Academy Trust.

The regional finalists are:

Representing East Midlands region:

  • Garry Finan - Corby Business Academy , part of Brooke Weston Trust

Representing East of England region:

  • Aron Jordan - Doucecroft School
  • Lorna Bull - Impact Food Group

Representing London region:

  • Lisa Hutchinson - Chartwells
  • Anna Narloch-Bryan - Juniper Ventures
  • Katherine Ruffalls - Nourish Catering
  • Angela McCurry - Nourish Catering
  • Terry Howard - Radish All Good
  • Len Pantlin - Stir Food Ltd

Representing North East & Scotland region:

  • Richard Hardy - Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education Trust
  • Nikki Cole - Chartwells
  • Philippa Moreton - Chartwells - Consett Junior School
  • Ellen Crookes - South Tyneside Catering Services
  • Lynn Pearson - Advanced Learning Partnership

Representing North West region:

  • Rose Simpson - Lancashire County Council
  • Paul Hardy - Midshire Signature Services

Representing South East region:

  • Mark Kent - Cucina Norton Knatchbull
  • Emma Barnes - Emma's Kitchen

Representing South West region:

  • Jennifer Brown - OCS
  • Paul Harris - Cleverchefs
  • Tasha Watts - Strode College

Representing Wales Region:

  • Duygu Dee Karakus - Big Fresh Catering Company
  • Tracey Smart - Big Fresh Catering Company
  • Joanne Cox - Chartwells

Representing West Midlands region:

  • Andrew Polymniou - Arthur Terry Learning Partnership
  • Aaron Delaney - Sodexo
  • Michael Tafft - Telford & Wrekin Council

Representing Yorkshire and Humberside region:

  • Sam Spiers - ISS Education
  • Kevan Bell - Mellors Catering
  • Kirsty McAndrew - Midshire Signature Services
  • Jody Iske - Queen Ethelburga's College
  • Kevin Hardman - The Laurel Academy

The winner of each regional final will receive £100 and advance to the School Chef of the Year national final, which is scheduled to take place at the LACA Main Event (3-4th July 2024). The regional finals take place in May and June. Two additional wildcards from the list will be selected to advance to the national final.

The 2024 national winner will receive a £1,000 cash prize, the 2024 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy and an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events. The national second and third place winners will receive £500 and £300, respectively.