Official: Torriano School has the best school chef in London
Cook Terri Carpenter wins regional heat with chilli twist chicken dish
13 January, 2017 — By William McLennan
Terri Carpenter qualifies for a cook off with the other regional winners
A DINNER lady from a Kentish Town school has been named London’s best school chef in a Masterchef-style cooking competition.
Terri Carpenter, who works at Torriano School in Torriano Avenue, saw off six contestants to take the top award at the London final of the School Chef of the Year award on Tuesday.
Ms Carpenter and her colleagues, employed by Camden Council’s school meals contractor Caterlink, received a hard-won pay increase in 2015 after bosses gave in to pressure from the Unison union and the New Journal’s “Pay Up Now” campaign.
The school chefs had to cook their dishes against the clock and under the scrutiny of a panel of judges, with each given 90 minutes to prepare four portions of a main course and desert that would be “suitable for serving to 11-year-olds in school”.
Ms Carpenter took the top spot with her “chilli twist chicken, savoury rice, tortilla bread, corn and salad” – which was described as “chilli chicken with an Asian twist”. For desert, she made a “mango, lime and caramel cake with passion fruit crème fraiche”.
She will now compete against nine other regional champions in the national final, to be held in Stratford-upon-Avon in March.
The school said: “We are all very proud of Terri who has worked hard over the last few months with Caterlink’s development chef, Jamie White, to plan and produce the menu for the competition.”