Lewisham cook hopes to be named School Chef of the Year

A highly-talented school chef has reached the final of a national competition for the third year in a row.

And he’ll be hoping to perhaps take the ultimate prize this time, after finishing runner-up on both previous occasions.

After winning a London regional heat, 28-year-old Raheem Morgan will compete in the big climax to the national School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on July 6 and 7. 

Raheem works for the Chartwells school food catering company at Torridon Junior Primary School in Hazelbank Road, Lewisham and will be one of 12 chefs taking part. 

The school chefs will have one hour and 45 minutes to prepare and serve a grab and go savoury snack in addition to a delicious and imaginative main meal, and dessert.  

Each contestant must use at least one Quorn product in both the new grab and go item and main course and one Bisto product from a list provided in either the snack or the main course. 

They must also produce a 50 per cent fruit-based dessert that should reflect school standards, using one Premier Foods product from a list provided. 

Now in its 28th year, SCOTY is the education catering sector’s ‘premier’ culinary skills competition, and the champion will receive a £1,000 cash prize, the 2022 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. 

Making this year’s line-up are the nine regional winners from academies, schools and colleges around the country as well as three wildcard entrants, who were selected by the LACA SCOTY judges. 

Raheem said: “I have been working in school catering for the past three years and am enjoying every moment of it. 

“My catering background has always been in restaurants and hotels, but the change to cooking for children has been so rewarding and knowing my healthy food puts a smile on their faces is also very rewarding. 

“I am also inspired by a dream of owning my own restaurant at some point in the future, showcasing my flavour-packed and vibrant food. 

“I was the runner-up for the National LACA School Chef of the Year final in 2020 and 2021 and it is truly amazing making it once again to national finals where I hope to go one better this time and win the competition.” 

LACA national chairwoman Jacquie Blake said: “Each year I am amazed at the talent and creativity of the entries we receive. There can be no better calling than to ensure that children receive delicious, nutritious meals whilst they are at school.  

“The link between healthy eating and learning has been well proven and our chefs up and down the country provide a valuable service to their local communities.” 

Pictured top: Raheem Morgan (Picture: LACA/James Kennedy)




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