Catering staff impress at national awards
Catering staff across Luton have proved they are up there with the best in the country, after taking home a number of awards at this year’s Local Authority Catering Association (LACA) annual conference.
Finishing Touches is a static culinary display salon organised by LACA in association with the Craft Guild of Chefs.
Now in its sixth year, the competition is aimed at all levels of local authority catering staff capable of producing excellent craft pieces. It provides entrants with the opportunity to show off skills which would not normally be seen in their everyday roles.
Among the winners was Lynda Smith, area catering manager in Luton, who took gold award and best in class in the floral sugercraft display.
Lynda has been in catering for over 27 years, working her way up from a kitchen assistant to her current role.
She impressed the judges with her display of old gold roses and mock orange blossoms presented on a mini cake stand.
Doreen Peacock, kitchen manager at Lealands High School, also earned a gold award in the floral sugercraft category, for her display of a miniature rose planted in a teapot.
Doreen also wowed the judges in two other categories, taking a silver medal for her cup cakes and a bronze for her decorated celebration cake.
Other Luton winners were Cardinal Newman’s Loraine Crossett, Putteridge Primary’s Julie Ridley, St Margaret Primary’s Karen Crisp and Lady Zia Wernher’s Margaret Orsini.
Cllr Waheed Akbar said: “The number of awards that Luton staff won really shows the quality of catering we have in the town.
“I’d like to congratulate them all for their effort and I’m sure that Luton’s schoolchildren also greatly appreciate their talents!”
This year’s judging panel included Craft Guild vice president Steve Munkley, University College Birmingham chef lecturer Mat Shropshall, Royal Garden Hotel pastry chef Nick Hollands and the Birmingham Hilton Metropole's executive chef Paul Taylor.