Premier Foods’ McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year competition returns and in its sixth successful year the competition will continue its focus on building children’s confidence through cookery, working with Birmingham Mind.
Schools looking to bake their way to the top spot should recruit a team of up to three enthusiastic 7-11 year olds and register online from Monday, 6th January. The winning team will take home £1,000 worth of equipment for their school kitchen, whilst each of the four runners up will win £250 worth of equipment. The competition theme will focus on local produce, encouraging schools to source an ingredient within a 30 mile radius of their school for their McDougalls recipes – helping children learn more about where their food comes from.
Mark Taylor, Customer Controller at Premier Foods, comments: “The competition is the highlight of our calendar and proves such an important cause. It encourages schools and its pupils to brush up on their cookery skills and knowledge as well as highlighting the importance of sourcing local produce and learning where food comes from and how it is produced.
“Following the massive success of the inaugural session last year, Birmingham Mind, the local branch of the mental health charity, will also be hosting a mindfulness workshop ahead of the live cook off for all of the finalists, helping pupils to relax and boosting their confidence before the showdown. It’s the perfect extension of our employee-selected corporate charity partnership with Mind. Most importantly, the competition is a brilliant and fun experience for all those involved and we encourage schools to come forward to enter and take part in what is a really great day.”
Holly Charnock, School Chef at Woodlands Primary School, 2019 winner, comments: “We loved being a part of the competition and we felt so lucky to have won. The dishes the other schools created were incredible. Our team of children had so much fun making the edible Woodlands Garden and each child was responsible for a specific area of our baked masterpiece and showed off the skills they had learnt. I really saw a difference in their confidence from the beginning of the competition until the end, both in the cooking techniques used and their personalities. The Birmingham Mind workshop beforehand was a great distraction for the pupils ahead of the cook-off and taught them some amazing calming techniques which I feel really helped.
“We’ve used the winning prize money to set up a weekly cookery club and the whole school can get involved in making a weekly recipe. The cookery club has allowed us to carry on teaching our pupils where food comes from and how to put different ingredients together to create a delicious dish.”
Schools up for the baking challenge can register their interest at www.premierfoodservice.co.uk and will receive a McDougalls toolkit within seven days which will include product samples, an application form and recipe inspiration. Teams will be asked to create either a sweet or savoury recipe, which includes one local ingredient and one McDougalls Flour Based Mix for submission.
Key Dates to remember
- Registration opens: Monday, 6th January 2020 at 9am
- Registration closes: Friday, 3rd April 2020 at 5pm
- Recipes to be submitted by: Friday, 15th May 2020 at 5pm
- Live final at LACA – The Main Event: 9th July 2020
 Ingredients must be sourced from within a 30 mile radius of the school’s address and can include fruit and vegetables grown, or locally made produce such as cheese or eggs