Highly commended for Rotherham ‘dinner lad’

Kevin Hardman, school chef from Maltby
Kevin Hardman, school chef from Maltby

There is nothing dull about dinner times when South Yorkshire school chef Kevin Hardman gets creative in the kitchen.

Maltby Academy’s ‘dinner lad’ showed off his culinary skills at the finals of the Yorkshire and Humber school chef of the year contest.

Kevin, who made the final three, was highly commended by judges for his main course of pork served with sage and apple dumplings and parsnip mash.

The panel at the cook-off, held at Doncaster College, praised him for a well executed, tasty meal prepared to a very high standard.

Menus at the final had to be realistic and affordable – the chefs could only spend a total of £1.60 per head on both main course and dessert.

First place went to Katherin Breckon, from Whitby, who came up with turkey bites in a sweet and sour sauce, followed by tempting toffee apple tart.

Also commended was Kevin’s other rival, Alison Jones from Toll Bar Primary School, Doncaster, who was praised for her rhubarb panna cotta crunch with a fresh raspberry milk shake.

A judging panel of cookery, education and dietary specialists was supplemented by experts who really know a thing or two about school grub.

Eleven-year-olds Kian Lee and Emma Marsh were recruited from a local primary school to give the all important children’s verdict.

Hazel Fancy, competition spokeswoman said the contest showed school meals were unrecognisable from those of the past. She said: “With national nutritional standards, food is undeniably excellent but dishes also have to harness international flavours and themes.”