A SCHOOL COOK from Denbighshire is set to represent Wales in the 2019 Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) Welsh School Chef of the Year finals this week.

Jane Jones, who has worked at Ysgol Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh for the last five years, beat tough competition to take the Welsh title on January 23.

Now the 49-year-old from Ruthin is set to represent her country at the finals in Stratford on Avon this Thursday.

Speaking ahead of the event, Jane said: "I’m completely surprised to have got this far, but I’m relishing the challenge and I appreciate all of the support that I’ve received by my colleagues and from the wider community too.

"I want to bring a taste of Wales to my dishes through having a shortbread biscuit in the shape of a Welsh dragon. Welsh lamb will also be on the menu, so I hope I can impress the judges.

"I’m extremely nervous but I’m also looking forward to it. Bring on the challenge !"

For the final, Jane will once again be producing a menu of meatballs, vegetables and yoghurt dip, as well as lamb meatballs served in a tortilla bouche, veg kebabs, rosemary potatoes and yoghurt dip.

For dessert, she will be serving her fruity shortbread with lavender cream and fruit topped shortbread served with a quenelle of lavender cream.

The winner of the national competition will receive a £1,000 cash prize, as well as the 2019 LACA School Chef of the Year trophy, an invitation to a calendar of catering industry events and a work experience trip.

The national second and third place winners will receive £500 and £300 respectively.

Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, cabinet lead member for education, children, young people and the Welsh language, praised Jane saying: "Jane has done tremendously well. She wowed the judges with her creativity in the Welsh finals and I’m sure she will shine at the nationals.

"She is full of personality and the news of her reaching the final has been celebrated in school and on social media. We’re crossing our fingers that Jane brings the trophy home to Denbighshire. She’s a great ambassador for our county.

"She has come up with a mouth-watering menu and fingers crossed that the judges have good taste and recognise her culinary masterpieces."