Northants dinner lady wins regional School Chef of the Year competition with stunning fajita tart

Sara with her winning dish as she progresses to the national competition.
Sara with her winning dish as she progresses to the national competition.

Sara Franklin cooked her way to victory in the 90-minute, high pressure test for the second year running.

The dinner lady from Campion School will now progress to the national competition where she will compete to be crowned the best school cook in the country.

Sara, who has worked at the Bugbrooke village secondary school for 22 years, says she had an 'amazing day' at the competition in Melton Mowbray yesterday (January 9).
The 49-year-old said: "The cook off went really well, actually it went amazing. I had a fantastic time.

"I went in there kept my head down, controlled my nerves and stayed focused."

To be crowned the regional winner, Sara had to cook four portions of a main meal and a dessert suitable for 11-year-olds in 90 minutes. She could also only spend £1.30 per meal.

She added: "The judges look for how you work, how you're using utensials and the clenliness of your work area.

"They ask questions about what you are making and what inspired you.

"The most nervous time was actually waiting for the results to be announced."

Sara's winning dish was a chicken faijita tart with roasted sweet potato wedges and a coriander and lime slaw.

She told the Northampton Chronicle & Echo before the competition, she likes to cook tarts at school as it's easy for children with lunch time activities to grab on the go.

For dessert at the competition, Sara served a strawberry and lemon bundt cake served with custard.

The chef has received loads of praise after her win. She added: "Everybody is so proud of the school. I can't thank them enough."

Sara will compete in the national competition with the other regional winners in March.

The competition will be held in Stratford on March 5, where all the constestants are expected to cook the same dish they did in thre regional round.