School chef Sharon wins North-West title

Sharon Hornby with her winning dishes and winner plaque
Sharon Hornby with her winning dishes and winner plaque
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She’s the coolest, funkiest dinner lady you are ever going to meet.

That’s not only the verdict of youngsters at St Chad’s Primary School in Poulton who reckon Sharon Hornby is the best dinner lady, but that of some of the country’s top judges.

This is an absolutely amazing school and it just goes to show we are not just school dinner ladies but professional chefs

She set out to dispel the image of dinner ladies, by being named top chef in Lancashire by the Local Authority Caterer’s Association and has now scooped the North West title.

Sharon, who has worked at

St Chad’s for the past three years, was over the moon to get to the regional heats and couldn’t believe it when she won on Thursday.

She now goes through to the national finals in March.The biggest prize though, she said, was seeing the requests for school dinners “ go through the roof” on Friday.

Sharon said: “ This is an absolutely amazing school and it just goes to show we are not just school dinner ladies but professional chefs.”

Of the 244 pupils on the roll 190 pupils sat down to a Friday Favourite yesterday.

Sharon said: “ We don’t do any pre-orders. The children here get a secondary school restaurant menu, with a choice of four main courses every day.

“Roast dinners are favourites, which we have twice a week made from scratch.”

The salad and fruit bowls are always emptied.

It was no surprise to headteacher Jan Potter her winning dishes included chicken breast with bacon in a rich tomato sauce, served with dauphinoise potatoes with a lemon and herb crust and a carrot and poppy seed salad.