AN AWARD-winning school chef tickled the judges’ tastebuds as she won a cooking competition at South Birmingham College in Hall Green.
Liz Bourbonneux was crowned West Midlands School Chef of the Year 2009 with her winning school dinner.
And now the 52-year-old mother of one, who works in the canteen at Dickens Heath Community School, is looking ahead to the national final which will be held in Sheffield on May 14.
She will compete against seven other chefs from England, Scotland and Wales with the chance of winning a trophy, a cash prize of £500 and some vocational training in London.
“I’ve spent lots of time training and I did a full run through of the whole process at the school,” she said.
“Luckily it all came naturally to me and went well for the whole 90 minutes. I’m just really glad to have got this far.”
The contest, which was organised by the Local Authority Caterers Association, and was sponsored by Maggi from Nestle Professional, saw Liz beat off stiff competition from three other hopefuls from Sandwell, Dudley and Nuneaton.
Contestants had to comply with rigorous standards, devising menus via computer technology and measuring the nutrients in their offerings.
Her typical school dinner menu included a dish of rustic meatballs, spinach and salad, followed by carrot cake, created from a budget of £1.10.
Liz, from Hall Green, said Gordon Ramsay was her inspiration and added that her favourite meal was a roast with a dessert of apple pie and custard.