Ormiston Horizon Academy’s chef impresses at regional finals


Gail Carr, from Ormiston Horizon Academy saw her culinary talents recognised this week as she took part in the search for Britain’s School Chef of the Year.

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Up against four other local finalists, Gail was the only in-house school chef competing in the West Midlands regional finals of the national contest, held by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA).

At Ormiston Horizon Academy, Gail’s food has long made her a famous face. Having worked at the academy for over 13 years, her passion has seen her become Catering Manager whilst leading on developing nutritious and tasty food for its students.


After being encouraged to apply by the academy’s Director of Catering, John Whittle, Gail took part in the contest for the second time after entering several years ago. This time around, she was selected by judges after submitting a school compliant menu suitable for serving up to 11-year-old students.

At the event in Leicestershire, Gail had 90 minutes to prepare, cook and serve her main course of pulled chicken flatbread with roasted vegetables, sweet potato wedges and a Mexican slaw, followed by a chocolate cake infused with mandarin puree for dessert.

Although she may not have progressed to the next round, the academy was delighted to see Gail’s efforts impress catering industry professionals and are looking forward to continuing to enjoy her cooking.

Gail Carr, Chef at Ormiston Horizon Academy, said:

"I was so excited to make it through to the regional finals and had such a fun time taking part. Food really is my passion and I worked hard to put together an imaginative menu. It makes me so happy to see students and staff at Ormiston Horizon enjoy my food and I can’t wait to continue serving up nourishing school dinners for everyone to tuck into."

John Whittle, Director of Catering at Ormiston Horizon Academy, said:

"We are all so proud of Gail for doing so well. It is a massive achievement to be selected for the regional finals of such a huge competition, especially because she was the only in-house academy caterer competing. I look forward to seeing Gail’s talents only continue to go from strength to strength."

Charlotte Cook, Prefect at Ormiston Horizon Academy, said:

"I have school dinners twice a week – but I absolutely make sure I have one on a Wednesday because it’s roast dinner day. It’s the best! I love school dinners at Horizon – thank you Gail."



Picture caption (left to right): Andy Fitzgibbon, Head of School, Gail and John Whittle, Director of Catering.