Tracy has been crowned the queen of school kitchens

Tracy Healy toasts her School Chef of the Year award.
Tracy Healy toasts her School Chef of the Year award.

Tracy Healy is beaming with pride after she was crowned queen of the school kitchen last week.

Tracy, who works at Ravensthorpe Junior School in Dewsbury, fought off competition from up and down the country to secure the title of 2017 School Chef of the Year.

The event brought together ten winners of the regional cook-offs in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The cooks were tasked with serving up their chosen dishes in the day before an awards event in the evening.

And after being named the winner following a busy day of cooking, Tracy admits that she was taken aback at her newly-found success.

“It was a surprise when my name was read out to be honest,” said the 41-year-old.

“I just thought to myself, ‘wow’.

“It was just a fantastic day and what a fantastic end to it all.

“Once I got there and in the kitchen, it was just ready, steady, go.

“It was essentially 90 minutes in which I had to prepare the dishes, but me and the other competitors were under real time constraints.

“It was difficult competition and I only had a short space of time to look at the other chefs’ dishes.

“There was lots of judges going around so it did make it hard to get the food out.

“But I’d like to say thank you to all the judges.”

Tracy’s winning dish was a main course of lamb kofta with coconut rice served with flatbread and mint salad - spiced meatballs served with coconut rice, homemade flatbread and fresh mint salad.

Her dessert was rhubarb fool with ginger crunch, creamy rhubarb fool with ginger biscuit crunch.

She believes that her victory is a shot in the arm for the reputation of school meals in Kirklees.

She said: “I think it shows that people in school kitchens are providing good quality meals for children and on a budget.

“Standards are quite high and people need to know that it’s not just a case of opening a packet.”

So how would the newly-crowned queen of the kitchen be celebrating?

Maybe a break away?

“It was a really nice event, but it was straight back to work on Monday,” added Tracy.