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Dagenham dinner lady set for regional school chef finals

PUBLISHED: 17:28 11 February 2015 | UPDATED: 17:44 11 February 2015

Cook supervisor at Ripple Primary School, Michelle Boddy is through to the regional finals of a School Chef of the Year competition

Cook supervisor at Ripple Primary School, Michelle Boddy is through to the regional finals of a School Chef of the Year competition

Archant

A Dagenham dinner lady is “quietly confident” her lasagne and polenta stack will win her a spot in the school chef of the year finals tomorrow.

Michelle Boddy will join five contestants at the regional heat after impressing students and judges with her dishes at Ripple Primary School.

She’s worked at the Barking school for the past 11 years and says she wants to make a meal which is inclusive for everyone.

“I’m OK today but I know I’ll be really nervous tomorrow,” she told the Post today.

“I’m not really a flashy person but I am quietly confident. I know I’ve practised a lot.”

Michelle, of Dagenham Heathway, plans to make a vegetarian polenta and lasagne stack with a garlic focaccia followed by a strawberry, orange and kiwi fruit pizza for dessert.

“I came up with the menu by looking at the internet and then putting my own stamp on things.

“At the school we make lasagne but I want to make it vegy because that means it’s inclusive for everyone.

“The kids love biscuit base and it’s a way to get them to eat fruit. The cream used is even fat free so it’s healthy.

“I’ll feel very good if I win because I’ve come a long way.”

The 45-year-old says she has chef trainer Allen Beale to thank for her cooking skills.

She originally got into the job because the hours suited her well while her children were at school but she’s worked her way up over the past 11 years.

“I’ve seen the menu change a lot over the past decade,” she added.

“It’s much healthier now and always cooked from scratch rather than frozen items.”

The School Chef of the Year award is organised by the Local Authority Catering Association.


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