SCOTY competition launches today with new Quorn sponsorship

LACA’s School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) competition launches today (15 December) with a new sponsor for 2021, Quorn Foods.

School chefs will be tasked with creating a main meal using at least one Quorn product and a 50% fruit-based desert. Entrants have an hour and 15 minutes to prepare, cook and serve a school compliant two-course menu suitable for 11-year-old pupils in primary year six or secondary year seven.

SCOTY 2021 is open to all staff that hold a kitchen-based post who are involved in the daily preparation of pupil’s meals at the time of entry. Entries can be submitted by any school meal provider whether local authority, contract caterer, academy or free school.

Phil Thornborrow, foodservice director at Quorn, said, “We’ve admired this competition for years and jumped at the chance to become a sponsor. Meat free is high on the agenda at the moment and we have been trailblazing its development for over 40 years.

“The education sector in particular is embracing a more flexible approach to meat consumption, driven by younger generations leading the fight against climate change and rising concerns over childhood obesity.

“We do a lot of work with caterers, teachers and pupils to highlight that using Quorn on your menu can be just as delicious, and have a really positive impact on the planet by using less water and less land.

“We want to inspire future generations to eat healthily and establish sustainable eating habits by educating them on how their food choices can be both good for their health and the planet. We can’t wait to see what school chefs create!”

Kate Snow, Quorn’s senior home economist, will host a demonstration in the New Year so potential competitors can learn more about Quorn and gain ‘inspiration’ for their entries.

Stephen Forster, chair of LACA, added, 'LACA is delighted that Quorn has chosen to support our School Chef of the Year competition in 2021. The competition has been running for over 20 years and during that time we have evolved it to reflect both school food standards and food trends.

“This new partnership reflects the current shift to reduce the amount of meat in our diet, which is also emerging as a major feature of school menus. We know school children are interested in the environment along with healthier eating and they are demanding more meat-free choices on their school menus.

“This link with Quorn will allow the amazing school chefs across the country to respond to this trend as they show off their skills.”

The overall winner will get a £1,000 cash prize, the 2021 SCOTY trophy, invitations to catering industry events in 2021 and a work experience trip. Second and third place in the National final will receive £500 and £300 respectively.

The 2020 SCOTY champion was Holly Charnock, employed by Sefton Catering Services and based at Woodlands Primary School in Formby, Liverpool.