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Vale School Chef’s Victory During Welsh School Cook of the Year Regional Final

Dee Karakus from the Big Fresh Catering Company won the Welsh SCOTY regional final after a thrilling cook-off.


  • Friday, 14 June 2024

    Vale of Glamorgan

Dee Karakus being awarded with her School Cook of the Year AwardDee, who works at Cogan Primary School, competed against two other chefs in the grand final – one representing Chartwells Catering in Newport and another Big Fresh Chef, Tracey Smart from Palmerston Primary.


The competition, which is run by the Local Authority Catering Association (LACA) aims to demonstrate the importance of high-quality cooking in school meals, with judges looking for innovative and creative approaches.


Competitors were tasked with using one Bisto product in their main course and one Premier Foods ingredient in their dessert.


Dee wowed judges with her wholesome lentil lasagne infused with Mediterranean flavours and garlic bread, served with beetroots and green. For dessert, she presented Turkish Delight inspired carrot balls with custard, with both dishes earning her the top prize.


After her victory in Wales, Dee will go on to compete against 10 other UK regional winners in the national final in early July.


Carole Tyley, Managing Director of Big Fresh Catering Company, said: “We are so proud of both Dee and Tracey for representing Big Fresh and the Vale in the Welsh SCOTY final.


“Congratulations to Dee for creating some outstanding school food that blew the judges away winning her the spot in the regional finals where she will have another amazing opportunity to display her culinary skills.


“I wish her the best of luck in the upcoming final.”


Operating as a Local Authority Trading Company, Big Fresh operates across Vale of Glamorgan schools and the wider hospitality sector, who’s profits are reinvested back into Vale schools.


You can find out more about Big Fresh and the work they carry out on their website.