Dagenham school chef hoping to cook up a storm at regional final

Beam Primary School chef Adrienne Williams is one of eight finalists in the regional final of the Sc

Beam Primary School chef Adrienne Williams is one of eight finalists in the regional final of the School Chef of the Year competition. - Credit: Archant

A Dagenham primary school chef is hoping to cook up a storm to be named London School Chef of the Year.

Beam Primary School chef Adrienne Williams is one of eight finalists in the regional final of the Sc

Beam Primary School chef Adrienne Williams is one of eight finalists in the regional final of the School Chef of the Year competition. - Credit: Archant

Adrienne Williams, who works at Beam Primary School, will make Sengalese chicken with lemon couscous and vegetables when she takes part in the regional final of the national competition on Thursday, February 27.

Emily Millis tucks into one of Adrienne Williams' dishes

Emily Millis tucks into one of Adrienne Williams' dishes - Credit: Archant

The 52-year-old catering supervisor is used to pressure in the kitchen as she makes school dinners to feed 375 pupils a day.

Valvine Mpiana tucks into Adrienne Williams' dessert

Valvine Mpiana tucks into Adrienne Williams' dessert - Credit: Archant

“I love children and cooking so I love my job and it’s a great place to work,” Adrienne, who has worked at the Oval Road North school for 13 years, said. “The children like lots of meals but what they really love is my jerk children and Jollof rice.”

The mum-of-three will have an hour-and-a-half to cook both her main course and dessert, a chocolate and banana bread and butter pudding.


You may also want to watch:


Competitors have been asked to create a balanced meal suitable for an 11-year-old child which costs no more than £1.60 per head, using products provided by the award sponsors, Maggi and Nestlé.

A local professional chef will head the judging panel at Croydon College, along with two 11-year-old pupils from a local school, an education catering expert and a leading dietician.

Most Read

Adrienne, who lives in Hornchurch with husband Steve, a surveyor for Essex County Council, says beating her seven fellow competitors to scoop the award would be the icing on the cake.

She was selected for the final after submitting recipes and photos to the Local Authority Caterers Association, which organises the annual awards.

“It would be really nice to win,” Adrienne said. “My manager had a a couple of cooks in mind and she asked me if I would do it so we are all very excited.”

The regional winner will represent the whole of London at the national final in May.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter