From education to employment

Still time to register for LACA’s School Chef of the Year (SCOTY)

There’s still time for school chefs to register for the prestigious school chef competition, School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) ran by LACA, the School Food People and sponsored by Bisto, from Premier Foods.

The competition attracts some of the very best school chef talent from across the country. The full competition rules and comprehensive list of Bisto and Premier Foods ingredients available to this year’s contestants can be found here:

Competitors must use a minimum of one Premier Foods ingredient in both their main course and dessert. Judges will be looking for innovative and creative ways the products have been used in the finished dishes.

The competition is open to all kitchen-based staff involved in the daily preparation of pupils’ meals in schools across the UK, whether from a local authority or contract-catered site, managed in-house, academy school or part of a Multi-Academy Trust.

The national final will be held at the LACA Main Event on Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th July at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. The overall winner will be announced on the evening of Thursday 6th July.

There is a range of fantastic prizes to be won.  Regional final winners will each receive a £100 cash prize and at the national final, the 2023 national winner will receive a £1,000 cash prize, the 2023 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy and an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events. The national second and third place winners will receive £500 and £300 respectively

Sarah Robb, foodservice marketing manager at Premier Foods, 2023 competition sponsor said:
“LACA School Chef of the Year has been one of the highlights of the school catering calendar for many years and so we are excited that Bisto is sponsoring the event this year. We’ll be supporting and celebrating the chefs who get involved throughout the process and can’t wait to be part of the judging panel to help find the next star of school meals. The Premier Foods foodservice team, work with chefs across the UK and we’ll be encouraging as many as possible to get involved and submit an entry. It’s a great way to test and develop your skills whilst potentially putting your school on the map.”

Tom Armstrong, the current School Chef of the Year, who is employed by Mellors Catering Services, will return to the national final to join the judging panel.

LACA – the school food people, was established in 1990 and is the leading professional body representing over 1,000 members drawn from across the school food sector representing public sector and private contract caterers and suppliers to schools, academies, and MATs across the UK.

The LACA School Chef of the Year (SCOTY) is now in its 29th year and has drawn national attention with the annual winners often appearing on TV to showcase school cooking. 

School chefs have until Friday 10th February 2023 to register

Register here:

Find out more here:

Timings in full

  • Registration deadline – Friday 10th February 2023
  • Deadline for entries to be received – Friday 2nd March 2023  
  • Paper judging by Friday 24th March 2023
  • Regional finalists notified by Friday 31st March 2023
  • Deadline for revised forms – Friday 15th April 2023
  • Regional Finals – late April to June 2023
  • National Final – Wednesday 5th & Thursday 6th July 2023 at LACA Main Event


Twitter:          @LACA_UK

Instagram:    @laca_uk

Hashtag         #SCOTY

Related Articles