Alison roasts opposition

AN aroma more familiar with the Mediterranean than the UK helped to prove that school cook Alison Devereux is in a class of her own. She conjured up chicken roulade with courgettes and cherry tomatoes. And that earned the catering manager at Hitchin Girls

AN aroma more familiar with the Mediterranean than the UK helped to prove that school cook Alison Devereux is in a class of her own.

She conjured up chicken roulade with courgettes and cherry tomatoes.

And that earned the catering manager at Hitchin Girls' School the title of School Chef of the Year for the Anglia Region in a cook-off in Norwich on Monday.

The heat was on as the contestants were challenged to create a delicious and balanced two course school meal for just 80p.


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Alison's winning menu was completed by a dessert of carrot and orange pyramid with a caramel orange sauce.

"I was elated about winning as there was so much pressure," she said. "The criteria is very tight because you only have 80p to produce a healthy low fat meal. I tried out the chicken recipe on the girls and I know it went down well because all the plates were clean. Hopefully Hertfordshire Catering is going to put both recipes on the primary school menu so other children can try them."

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Alison has worked in Hertfordshire Catering, the county council's school meals provider, for 20 years and is part of the team at Hitchin Girls' School which serves up around 800 meals a day for students and staff.

The school is getting used to being in the spotlight as last year it was voted Healthy School of the Year in the prestigious East of England Teaching Awards.

"Alison's victory is fantastic news, and it's even more impressive because it's the second year running that a Hertfordshire school cook has won the Anglia Region School Chef Award," said county councillor David Lloyd, executive member for Education.

Alison now goes through to the national finals in Birmingham on June 6.

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