Sekwila Mudenda – the kitchen manager at Chadwell st Mary Primary School – won the Best Dessert award at the regional finals, Bookman’s College in Weybridge, Surrey, on 18 March.
Sekwila had already won the area final with some great dishes.
Her main course was a dish from her Zambian roots – a chicken thigh, marinated in a blend of peppers, onion and garlic, and served with Jallof rice and a citrus salad.
This was followed by a fruit-infused choux bun with a strawberry coulis
Both of the dishes – which have already been enjoyed by some children and teachers at Chadwell Primary – will be incorporated into the team’s next menu cycle. The catering team is shared with Havering, so, from October, the dishes will be available in schools in both boroughs.
Sekwilla (pictured), won a local competition to secure her place in the regional event.
She said: “I have really enjoyed the whole experience of entering the Laca School chef of the year award, and was delighted that my dessert won; it was a very proud moment.
“Next year I aim to enter again and maybe win the competition outright.”