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Be a One Pot Winner

McCain Simply One Pot

The McCain Simply One Pot Meal Competition is back and open for entries!

The finalists of last year’s competition. (From left to right) Karen Clark, from Isleham, Cambridgeshire Catering Services, Beverley Paterson, from Chirnside, Scottish Borders, Michelle Lewandowski from Henlow C of E Academy, Cambridge Catering Services, Judith Tyrrell from Manor Longbridge Primary School and Lisa Michelle Morris from London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council.

The finalists of last year’s competition. (From left to right) Karen Clark, from Isleham, Cambridgeshire Catering Services, Beverley Paterson, from Chirnside, Scottish Borders, Michelle Lewandowski from Henlow C of E Academy, Cambridge Catering Services, Judith Tyrrell from Manor Longbridge Primary School and Lisa Michelle Morris from London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council.

The competition returns after a successful launch last year, which saw the country’s most creative school cooks battling it out to be crowned the One Pot Meal champion.

For the chance to win an all-expenses paid cookery course for two at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ, Local Authority School cooks must create a one pot recipe using at least one of the products in the McCain Simply range and other ingredients to create a balanced dish, full of flavours pupils love. The five finalists will also win a stay at luxury cookery school Eckington Manor in Worcestershire as part of the live final cook-off.

Anne Bull, former LACA Chair and competition judge, said: “The competition celebrates the creativity and hard work of school cooks, as well as promoting the quality, nutritious food they produce. Schools can even use the competition to speak to parents about school meals and potentially increase uptake.”
Last year’s winner Beverley Paterson, from Scottish Borders, rose to the challenge with her Leek and Mustard Vegetarian Hot Pot. Beverley said: “I still can’t quite believe I have won! There was some tough competition as all the finalists’ recipes looked fantastic. One pot recipes work really well for us so we will be trying all of them on the menu at school.

“It has been great fun getting involved and I would really recommend that school cooks enter. It’s a chance to get creative, meet cooks from around the country and pick up lots of small tips and tricks that make a big difference to day-to-day service.”

The competition is designed to encourage cooks to discover the benefits of one pot cooking and the McCain Simply Range – quick, easy to prepare and serve dishes that overcome common challenges, such as limited kitchen space, staff resources and equipment. As well as making it easy for cooks to implement school food requirements by using ingredients and flavours popular with pupils, with recipes including Piri Piri Pork and Sicilian Fish Pie.

Using the Simply range also helps cooks to meet the School Food Plan while avoiding seasonal issues with the quality and cost of raw potatoes, and the labour intensive preparation process. It’s preservative free and Food for Life compliant, meeting the demand for natural ingredients and supporting Food for Life accreditation, which alternative pre-prepared potato products, such as those preserved in dry white, do not.

The challenge:
Create a one pot meal using at least one of the McCain Simply range of potato products and any other ingredients you like. Dishes must be compliant with the school food standards, and cost no more than 80p per portion.

Top tip: make sure your recipe is creative, full of flavour and appealing to pupils! For inspiration, visit mccainfoodservice.co.uk and download one of the 25 sample recipes.

Enter:
Submit your recipe. Five finalists will be invited to present their dishes at a live cook off and judging day at luxury cookery school Eckington Manor in Worcestershire. The finalists and their area manager will also receive a complimentary dinner and overnight stay.

Win:
The winning cook will receive a culinary trip for two to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage HQ and their recipe will be published along with the other finalist’s dishes. The winner will also be invited to LACA and/or Assist as a guest of McCain to showcase their winning dish.

As well as our fantastic prizes there are lots of reasons why schools should encourage cooks to take part in the McCain Simply One Pot Meal competition. The competition:

For more information and details of how to enter, visit www.mccainfoodservice.co.uk/opmcompetition, email opmcompetition@mccain.co.uk or speak to your local McCain Representative.

The closing date for entries is 31 March 2016.