After two highly successful years, in May 2017 the McCain One Pot Meal Competition returned once again to shine a spotlight on the talent and hard work of school cooks across the UK.
Using any product from the McCain Simply range, school cooks were challenged to create their own nutritionally balanced, child-friendly one pot recipe, putting their culinary creativity to the test.
After whittling down the entries, five impressive contestants headed off to a final held at Worcester’s prestigious Eckington Manor, where "Masterchef: The Professionals” winner Mark Stinchcombe is head chef. Suitably for the location, the finalists cooked up their recipes in a fierce “Masterchef” style cook off, in front of a judging panel of industry experts.
Whilst it’s safe to say that all of the recipes the finalists showcased were inspired, there could be only one winner, with Barking and Dagenham Catering Services’ Rose Khan crowned as this years’ One Pot Meal Competition champ. Rose won over the judges with her recipe for Chicken Bolognese and Potato Cakes, a nutritious, simple and inspired twist on an Italian classic.
Rose, who uses every product from the McCain Simply Range in her role as a Primary school chef, said that the secret to a great one pot meal “is to think outside of the box. I took McCain Simply Diced potatoes, mashed them up and then created the potato cakes. These were served on a bed of chicken Bolognese, which is leaner than using beef, adding to the dishes’ nutritional value.”
As winner of the competition, Rose received all-expenses paid culinary trip for two to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ, and has been invited to showcase her winning dish as a guest of McCain at July’s LACA event. Alongside this, all five finalists were awarded a complimentary dinner and overnight stay at the luxury Eckington Manor hotel and have now had each of their recipes published on the McCain site for all to view here.
Speaking about the result, Rose said: “I am so excited and absolutely shocked, I didn’t expect to win at all! It was my second year in the final so I was just looking forward to coming back to Eckington Manor for the cook off, being able to leave as the champion is brilliant.
We know how hard school cooks work to keep their menus varied and exciting here at McCain, and we’d like to congratulate Rose, all the finalists, and everyone who entered for making this year’s competition as great as ever.