Is this the best school chef in England?
PUBLISHED: 15:27 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:27 14 February 2020
A Norfolk school chef hopes to win a prestigious national cooking competition title after scooping a regional award.
Annalisa Grief, chef at West Winch Primary School in King's Lynn, was crowned LACA East of England School Chef of the Year 2020 after a regional heat at Premier Foods in St Albans on Tuesday, January 21.
The 39-year-old first got into catering after working at Wimpy and has since moved to school catering. She is currently studying a senior chef production apprenticeship.
The school chef, who is employed by Norse Catering, picked up the award after impressing judges with her special dishes which she says were inspired by her twin daughters and grandparents. The menu consists of a main course named A Taste of the Middle East, which is chicken shawarma kebab with flatbread, summer couscous, Turkish slaw and a cool lemon dressing and a Cherry Berry Mousse Cake dessert, a cherry yogurt mousse on a brownie base with a coulis and tuile biscuit.
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She prepared the course for children at the West Winch school on Wednesday, February 13 in preparation for the LACA School Chef of the Year 2020 National Final next month.
Looking ahead to the competition, Mrs Grief said: "It's exciting and nerve-wracking as I am not used to being in the spotlight.
"To be the winner would mean everything to me, to my school and to the team at Norse. "The school are really pleased for me and the children think me being the best school chef in the East of England is fantastic." A team from Norse Catering will join Mrs Grief at the national finals held at Stratford upon Avon College on Thursday, March 5.
Clare Jordan, marketing and brand manager at Norse Catering, said: "We're so proud of her.
"She works in a rural Norfolk school so for her to be stepping out into the national limelight and representing East Anglia is an amazing achievement. "Obviously I'm biased but I think Annalisa's dishes are really good, so we're expecting a win. "But no matter what we think she's absolutely amazing."
The winner receives a £1,000 cash prize, the LACA School Chef of the Year trophy and the accolade of the national title while attending catering events across the UK.
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