VIDEO: Burslem chef Adrian Seadon turns up heat to be crowned Stoke-on-Trent's best school cook
CREATIVE Adrian Seadon has been crowned Stoke-on-Trent's best school cook.
The 23-year-old finished runner-up in the West Midlands finals of the School Chef of The Year contest but was the best entrant from the Potteries.
Adrian, who is based at Burslem's John Baskeyfield Primary School but often covers at schools across the city, was handed a special commendation award in recognition of his mouth-watering main course.
He was yesterday given just an hour-and-a-half to prepare main dishes and desserts for four by spending just £6.
The cook-off – which was held at Stoke-on-Trent College – saw Adrian go head-to-head with Warwickshire school dinner lady Isobel Gill.
The former Mitchell High School pupil rustled up a dish with a free range egg wrapped in golden crumbled chicken with mixed rice and curried vegetables.
His dessert, tangy toffee apple charlotte, saw an apple encased in baked bread with custard and coulis.
Adrian, who represented Stoke-on-Trent City Council's City Catering organisation which provides staff to 94 schools in the Potteries, said: "I have enjoyed the experience and I think I will be entering more competitions in the future."
Louise Weaver, operations manager for City Catering, said: "We are really proud of Adrian and this is the first competition that he has entered.
"He is a really good role model for anyone thinking of a working in school catering."
In the past, Adrian has worked in the kitchens of city centre eateries the Meeting Room and Smithfield Bar and Restaurant.
About three years ago Adrian joined City Catering as a kitchen assistant before completing an NVQ qualification in catering.
He is now one of the 520 staff which helps dish up food in the city's schools every weekday.
Adrian, who works as a part-time chef at Hanley's Portofino Italiana, added: "Working in school kitchens is not as pressured as restaurants but we still have to make sure everything is ready for when the children come in for lunch.
"In the future my dream would be to have my own restaurant."
The school chef competition has been organised by the Local Authorities Caters Association (LACA) and sponsored by Maggi – a brand of Nestle.
The judges who sampled Adrian's dish included industry experts along with two Potteries schoolchildren.
Carrieanne Bishop, chairman of LACA's West Midlands branch, said: "The standard has been phenomenal. School meals these days are fantastic and nutritionally they have to meet certain standards."