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Leanne cooks up a winner to take regional school chef title

School chef Leanne Rees Sheppard is the finalist in the Welsh School Chef of the Year competition – and the pupils she cooks for at Tremains Primary couldn’t be happier.

They helped choose the dishes that Leanne had to make, and made sure that some of their favourites were on the menu.

Designed to demonstrate the high quality and nutritional value of modern school meals, the competition is organised by the Lead Association for Catering in Education.

Competitors received a maximum ingredients budget of £1.30 and were given 90 minutes in which to prepare a winning two-course meal.

Leanne took first place after judges sampled her tasty combination of lamb and mint meatballs in tomato sauce, Caerphilly cheese and sweet potato mash, and steamed broccoli with carrots.

She followed it up with a coconut rice pudding topped with a Bramley apple and plum compote, and a traditional Welsh cake.

Leanne said: “I felt proud to represent Bridgend County Borough. My menu had a strong Welsh flavour and used as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible while also meeting the nutritional requirements of the Healthy Eating in Schools regulations.

“I was very impressed by the professionalism of the other competitors and the creativity of their menus, and I am looking forward to representing Wales in the national finals.”

Leanne will join other regional winners from across the UK to battle it out at the national school chef finals, which will take place at Stratford Upon Avon in March.

Deborah Todd, Head of Tremains Primary, said: “We are delighted that Leanne won the competition. Her meals are going down great with the children, and we are all over the moon that she has progressed to the national final.”

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the skills and talents of our amazing catering team, especially at Tremains Primary. I am sure that the people of Bridgend County Borough will join me in congratulating Leanne, and wishing her all the best for the finals.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration.

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