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Ipswich sixth form chef reaches finals of regional cooking competition

PUBLISHED: 18:02 06 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:02 06 December 2017

Daniel Bowen competing in the School Chef of the Year regional final. Picture: CLARK SMITH-STANLEY

Daniel Bowen competing in the School Chef of the Year regional final. Picture: CLARK SMITH-STANLEY

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A top chef at an Ipswich sixth form has been recognised as a finalist in a regional ‘chef of the year’ competition.

One sixth form chef Daniel Bowen being observed by the chairman of judges, Justin Clarke. Picture: CLARK SMITH-STANLEYOne sixth form chef Daniel Bowen being observed by the chairman of judges, Justin Clarke. Picture: CLARK SMITH-STANLEY

Daniel Bowen, a Vertas chef at One sixth form in Ipswich, was one of three regional finalists in the ‘School Chef of the Year’ East of England competition run by the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA).

Mr Bowen, alongside fellow finalists from Stevenage and Watford, was tasked with rustling up some of his signature dishes against the clock at the regional final in Birmingham today.

The US-born chef finished second, but said it was an honour to be nominated a finalist.

“It was a fantastic experience and I am very grateful to have been invited to take part as a regional finalist,” he said.

“There was a very enjoyable atmosphere during the competition and I would definitely be up for competing at the event again in future.”

The competition tasked the finalists with preparing four portions of a main meal and a dessert suitable for serving to 11 year olds in schools.

They had 90 minutes to put their culinary skills to the test, with a maximum cost of £1.30 per meal.

Mr Bowen is employed by Vertas, which provides facilities management at One including security, catering, cleaning, post, courier and grounds maintenance.

Caroline Thompson-Barr, head of operations at Vertas Group, said: “We are proud to have one of our very own employees compete in this national competition for a second year in a row.

“It is a great way of being able to celebrate some of the local, innovative talent that we have here in Suffolk’s educational establishments.

“A huge well done to Daniel for his incredible efforts.”

Mr Bowen was born in Kentucky, and lived in Indiana until he was 20.

He met his wife on Xbox Live while gaming, moving to the UK aged 22 to be with her.

Lucy Lockwood from One added: “We are thrilled that Daniel Bowen has done so well to reach the eastern regional finals of the School Chef of the Year competition.

“The fact that our students and staff get to benefit from the creations of one of the top school chefs in the region on a daily basis is a real bonus – and everyone at One is proud to have this outstanding connection.”

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