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ISS hosts plant-based Young Chef of the Year competition

30 Jul 2021
School caterers ISS held a Young Chef of the Year competition for pupils in Lambeth where participants were challenged to create meat-free recipes to celebrate plant-based foods.

Five finalists from schools in ISS’ Lambeth cluster competed in the grand final cook off. Assisted by a parent or teacher the five contestants had an hour to prepare two plates of their plant-based dish to the judging panel.

Eloise Jones from St Leonard’s Primary School was crowned the winner with her Thai peanut tofu Buddha bowl dish. Juliet Coulber, from Hitherfield Primary School, was awarded runner up with her non-spicy vegan chilli served with guacamole and tortilla chips. Both received certificates and prizes to mark their achievements.

The competition aimed to champion healthy plant-based foods in celebration of the benefits they offer to people and the planet.

Simon Jackson, head teacher at St Leonard’s Primary School, said: “I am pleased that ISS organised this event. Cookery is an important life skill and the number of schools with facilities where children can learn to cook has decreased in recent years.

“Food sustainability is a topical issue, so any opportunity which allows children to learn to cook whilst considering environmental factors is one which should be celebrated.

“Cookery is creative and offers pupils the chance to excel at something different. Eloise’s achievement may serve to encourage others to develop an interest and have a go themselves.”

Public Sector Catering’s Plant-Based Week, which ran from 17-21 May 2021, struck such a chord with the industry that plans have been announced to bring it back for 2022.