Read about our winner & finalists

The McCain One Pot Meal Competition returned once again this year, with school cooks across the UK challenged to create simple, nutritious and inventive one pot meals using the McCain Simply Range.

This year’s competition final took place at Worcesters’ Eckington Manor, with five contestants taking part in a Masterchef style cook off in front of a judging panel of industry experts.

Find out more about the five finalists, their recipes, and what they thought of this years’ competition below.

2017 McCain Chef Solution One Pot Meal Competition winner

Rose Khan, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Winning dish: Chicken Bolognese and Potato Cakes

Rose Khan, a Cook Supervisor at Barking and Dagenham Catering Services and winner of the McCain Chef Solutions One Pot Meal Competition 2017, swears by the ease, versatility and quality of the McCain Chef Solutions range and says that there are no better potato products to use in a busy school kitchen. 

Rose reflects on the competition and explains, “One of my colleagues entered the McCain Simply One Pot Meal competition in 2015 and insisted that one of entre  each year. I made it in to the final last year, even though I’d only been cooking for a short time, and had such a brilliant experience. I knew from the moment I left that I was going to re-enter for 2017. 

“I am thrilled to have won, I think it’s still sinking in! It feels brilliant being able to leave this year as the champion. The support from everyone at my school, the Team at Barking and Dagenham Catering Services, and at McCain has been invaluable. I’d never done anything like this before - it’s completely boosted my confidence in the kitchen. I’d had my recipe idea for a long time which makes it all the more meaningful that it won me the trophy!

“This year I made chicken bolognese with potato cakes. I chose to use chicken because it is leaner than beef and I wanted to make sure my dish not only delivered on flavour but also nutritional value. I made the potato cakes by boiling and mashing Chef Solutions Dice, adding parmesan, cheddar and parsley, shaping and then pan frying them. We make this dish for our pupils regularly and they love it because it combines their two favourite things – bolognese and mash! We know we’ve got a winner when we create a dish that we feel good about serving and the pupils also enjoy.

“I can’t speak highly enough about the McCain Chef Solutions range, every product is designed to make my job easier. We use Chef Solutions Dice at least once a week, and also regularly include Signatures Traditional Chips, Chef Solutions Roasts and Chef Solutions Wedges on our menu. 

“We run a busy kitchen so from an operational perspective nothing comes close to being as versatile and simple to work with. Everything arrives completely prepped; blanched, peeled and diced, all we have to do is put it on a tray. Each product is ready when you are and never fails to deliver on taste or quality.

“I think the secret to a great one pot meal is to think outside of the box. I think that’s what won the competition for me. Instead of using the product as it came, I took McCain Chef Solutions Diced potatoes, mashed them up and created potato cakes. With a one pot recipe you are able to get a real combination of flavours while still making sure there’s enough nutritional value for the kids, it’s a win win.”


2017 McCain Chef Solution One Pot Meal Competition Finalists

Donna Amiteye, Norse Commercial Services (Norfolk)

2017 McCain Simply One Pot Meal Competition finalist

2017 recipe: Handi* Chicken Tikka Masala with Bombay Aloo.

* A ‘Handi’ is a deep cooking vessel used in North India, Pakistani and Bengali Cooking 

“The secret to a great one pot meal is to hide as many vegetables as possible. The pupils can’t tell the difference, and we feel good knowing they are eating a nutritionally balanced meal.”

Fred Chemin, Hertfordshire Catering Limited

2017 McCain Simply One Pot Meal Competition finalist

2017 recipe: Green Eyed Monster

“The secret to a great one pot meal is to experiment with flavours and make all of the elements of the dish come together. It takes a lot of experience to know exactly which flavours will work well in a one pot recipe.”

Karen Clark, Cambridgeshire Catering Services

2015, 2016 and 2017 McCain Simply One Pot Meal Competition finalist

2017 recipe: Chicken and Bacon Pie

“The secret to a great one pot meal is to not have too many elements to it. The best one pots are quick to cook and easy to make.”

Mary Lillis, Norse Commercial Services (Devon)

2017 McCain Simply One Pot Meal Competition finalist

2017 recipe: Coley and Vegetable Hot Pot

“The secret to a great one pot meal is to make sure it is nutritionally balanced. You must have your meat, potatoes and vegetables all on one dish.”