Three Educaterers school catering employees from Warwickshire have wowed judges with their culinary talents and won a series of awards, including gold and ‘best in class’, at a national catering event.
Julie Murray, Jenny Babbington and Zoe Naylor were all prize-winners at the LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) national conference held in Birmingham last week, where their sweet creations were judged against Craft Guild of Chefs standards in a ‘bake off’ style competition for school caterers called ‘Finishing Touches’.
Julie, who has worked for Educaterers (formerly Warwickshire County Caterers) since the age of 18 and is now Assistant Development Manager, won gold and ‘best in class’ in the ‘Decorated Celebration Cake’ category for her colourful tiered cake celebrating the upcoming first anniversary of Educaterers becoming a traded company. It was the first time that Julie had entered the competition.
Jenny, who has worked for the organisation for 15 years and is now an Operations Supervisor, impressed the judges in two categories, winning ‘best in class’ and bronze in the ‘50% Fruit Dessert’ class – where she had to produce a creative dessert suitable for students, made of a minimum of 50% fruit – and bronze in the ‘Tray Bake’ class, where entries had to be creative, innovative and suitable as a snack or dessert for pupils.
Zoe, a Catering Assistant at Arley Primary School in North Warwickshire who has only worked for Educaterers for ten months, won in three categories. Zoe won Silver in the ‘Decorated Celebration Cake’ class, Silver in the ‘Cakes for a Special Diet’ class, for which she created a cake suitable for children with a gluten intolerance, and Bronze in the ‘Decorated Novelty Cake’ class for a Wallace and Gromit cake that Aardman Studios would be proud of!
Terry Tredget, Director of Catering at Educaterers said: “We are so proud of our talented employees, who have excelled themselves and demonstrated to a tough panel of national catering judges just how skilled our school caterers are in Warwickshire.
“The annual LACA Main Event is the place to be if you provide education catering in the UK and their ‘Finishing Touches’ competition is a brilliant opportunity for school catering staff to share their creativity, skills and passion for making the most amazing food creations. Our Educaterers employees are our greatest asset and we hope pupils, parents, head teachers and governors will be equally impressed by their achievements.”
Educaterers took over the delivery of school meals from Warwickshire County Council in September last year, building on over 60 years’ experience in the education sector. They serve over 120,000 meals to school children in 195 schools every week. For more information see www.educaterers.co.uk.
Now in its eleventh year, the ‘Finishing Touches’ competition is aimed at all levels of staff employed in any aspect of education catering. For more information, see www.laca.co.uk.