Manor Longbridge dinner lady Lisa crowned borough’s best

Lisa's dessert: Spicy pineapple crumble with a vanilla sauce

Lisa's dessert: Spicy pineapple crumble with a vanilla sauce - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Rosemary-infused chicken breast and spicy pineapple crumble might not sound like your average school dinner – but Lisa Morris isn’t your average dinner lady.

Lisa's dessert: Spicy pineapple crumble with a vanilla sauce

Lisa's dessert: Spicy pineapple crumble with a vanilla sauce - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

In fact, Lisa – who provides top-notch grub to the youngsters at Dagenham’s Manor Longbridge School by day – has just been crowned the borough’s best school chef.

To win the prize she went head-to-head with Michelle Boddy of Ripple Primary School and Coral Knockton of St Joseph’s Catholic School, both in Barking, on Tuesday last week.

All three whipped up their own special menus before a panel of judges chose their favourite.

“I created my menu knowing what sorts of foods the kids like to eat,” said chuffed Lisa, “and I used my family as guinea pigs.”


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Judges included the council’s catering manager Maureen Lowes and Jo Richardson year sevenstudent Morgan O’Connell, who was named the borough’s secondary school chef of the year in July.

Morgan said Lisa’s menu was “absolutely delicious and healthy”.

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Maureen Lowes added: “Given the standard of the menus and quality of service, it was an exceptionally tough call.”

Lisa will now go on to the regional finals.

“I was quite shocked to win,” she said. “I was really quite elated. It boosts your confidence.

“I really put a lot of work into it.”

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

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