Chirnside school cook rises to the top

Chirnside Primary School cook Beverley Paterson, winner of the McCain Our Chef Solutions Simply One Pot Meal Competition, with Masterchef: the Professionals winner, Mark Stinchcombe.
Chirnside Primary School cook Beverley Paterson, winner of the McCain Our Chef Solutions Simply One Pot Meal Competition, with Masterchef: the Professionals winner, Mark Stinchcombe.

Chirnside Primary School cook Beverley Paterson has once again beaten school cooks from across the country to win a national title for the second year in a row.

Beverley was crowned winner of the McCain Chef Solutions Simply One Pot Meal Competition 2016 last week - her gnocchi, bac and cheese proving just too tempting for the judges to overlook.

The competition was launched last year to challenge school cooks to put their culinary creativity to the test and create their own one pot recipe using a McCain Chef Solutions Simply product as one of their ingredients. Beverley’s leek and mustard vegetarian hot pot took her into the final last year and on to win the first competition, and this year she once again proved that when it comes to one pot cooking she can’t be beaten.

After an overwhelming response, five finalists were chosen.

Julie Beeson from Surrey Commercial Services, Karen Clark from Cambridgeshire Catering Services, David Gower from Hertfordshire Catering Limited, Rose Khan from Barking & Dagenham Catering Services, and reigning champion, Beverley from Chirnside, took part in a live ‘Masterchef’ style cook off in front of a panel of industry expert judges, including Anne Bull, former LACA chair and former head of catering and schools facilities services for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council; McCain development chef for education, Adele Procter; and Judy Gardner, founder of the Eckington Manor Cookery School.

Judge Anne Bull said: “This year’s competition was difficult to judge because all five finalists brought inspirational and creative one pot recipes to the table.

“Beverley’s twist on mac n’ cheese took the prize because she experimented with a dish that kids already love, making it more nutritious and full of amazing flavours.”

Beverley said: “I still can’t quite believe I won for the second year in a row! All of the finalists did an outstanding job, the bar this year was definitely raised and meeting Mark Stinchcombe, the winner of Masterchef: the Professionals, topped off an amazing day!

“I would definitely recommend that school cooks enter the competition next year. McCain pulled out all of the stops to deliver a first class experience that really showcased the work we do every day.”

All finalists received a complimentary dinner and overnight stay at the luxury Eckington Manor hotel where the competition took place and will have their recipes published on the McCain Foodservice website. Beverley also wins an all-expenses paid culinary trip for two to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ.