Bury St Edmunds nursery chef reaches competition final

FINALISTS: The 11 chefs who made it through to the national Busy Bees ABC Chef Competition final, with Elizabeth Drewery pictured second from the right
FINALISTS: The 11 chefs who made it through to the national Busy Bees ABC Chef Competition final, with Elizabeth Drewery pictured second from the right

A Bury St Edmunds nursery chef has showed off her creative flair in the final of a national cooking competition.

Elizabeth Drewery, a Busy Bees nursery chef at West Suffolk Hospital, created a completely allergen-free chicken and vegetable meatball dish for Busy Bees ABC Chef Competition.

Nursery chefs from across the country battled it out during Allergen Awareness Week to produce nutritious food completely free of the 14 named allergens.

Busy Bees, which was recently awarded the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association, is planning to compile the 11 finalists’ dishes in a recipe book for parents to recreate at home.

Ms Drewery said: “I really enjoyed the competition and will definitely be taking part again next year.

“We all regularly cater for children with certain food tolerances in the nursery but it was a real challenge to come up with creative ways to produce the familiar flavours or textures of a dish without using some of the key ingredients.

“I chose this particular dish because it’s something that the children at our nursery liked the sound of and that’s the most important thing. I wanted to produce something the children would enjoy, using fresh ingredients as it gives people with food intolerances the chance to experience some of the flavours and dishes that they might miss out on.”

Each of the finalists received a £20 Love To Shop voucher and a Busy Bees apron. The winning dish, which was produced by a chef from Busy Bees in Edinburgh Park, will now be added to Busy Bees’ menus.