A SCHOOL COOK from Ruthin who reached the final of a prestigious culinary competition in 2019 will be competing again this year.

Jane Jones battled her way into the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) School Chef of the Year 2019 national finals held in Stratford-upon-Avon in March of last year.

The 50-year-old, who has worked at Ysgol Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh for the last five years, represented Wales in the finals after winning the regional heats in January 2019.

Jane’s journey took her from Denbighshire, across the UK, and even onto “The One Show” on BBC, where she and her fellow competitors appeared live on TV and met celebrity chef Gregg Wallace.

Having described all of that as a ‘brilliant experience’, Jane is now set to do it all over again. She will be taking part in the Wales regional final at Newtown College, Powys on January 16.

She will come up against two chefs from Anglesey, one from Barry and one from Penarth.

Looking ahead to what the 2020 competition holds, Jane said: “I've had a lot more time to practice this time around, but the decision to re-enter into this year's competition was a last minute thing.

“Last time out was a really good experience that I enjoyed so much. The trials runs we've been doing are great and the kids love it."

Speaking to the Denbighshire Free Press during 2019, Jane said she would be re-applying for the School Chef of the Year and had hoped to “finish in the top three”.

“I'm not sure I'll go that far but we'll see. I feel like I am on top of my game at the moment and I have much more of an idea as to what's expected from me now too so I'm ready to rock."

For her main course, Jane will be serving up some sweet potato pancakes with pureed parsnip and carrot, as well as some parsnip and beetroot crisps with micro-herbs.

For dessert, she will be presenting the judges with a 'jelly jumble' - a citrus jelly meringue with lemon curd and cream, forest fruit coulis and orange biscuit crumb.

In addition to the kudos of winning the national title, the eventual 2020 champion will receive a £1000 cash prize and the LACA 2020 School Chef of the Year trophy.

He or she will also be awarded a work experience trip and an invitation to a calendar of high profile catering industry engagements between 2020 - 2021.

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