Children in South Tyneside can look forward to some of the best Christmas cuisine around after three South Tyneside school chefs won awards for their fabulous festive fare in a regional competition.
Ellie Crookes, Claire Docherty and Joanne Murray all carried off awards in the North East and Scotland Finishing Touches Culinary Craft competition organised by the Lead Association for Catering Education.
Ellie Crookes, a kitchen assistant at Mortimer Primary School, won two gold awards for her sweet mince pies and biscuits in the shape of Christmas tree decorations. Her nut-free mince pies and biscuits in the shape of stockings, Christmas puddings, candy canes and wreaths were also named Best in Class in both categories.
Chef at Jarrow School, Joanne Murray won a gold award for her festive quiche filled with caramelised onion, sausage and cranberries, She also won a bronze award for her festive dough bread in the shape of a Christmas tree made with rosemary and cranberries and served with orange and walnut butter.
Claire Docherty, Cook-In-Charge at Simonside Primary School, scooped a bronze award for her festive quiche filled with turkey and cranberries.
Councillor Moira Smith, Lead Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: "We are committed to giving every child the best start in life and one of the ways we can do this is by offering nutritious, balanced and tasty school lunches that young people will enjoy.
"It is fantastic to see our school catering staff winning awards in every single category they entered which means we can take pride in having some of the most creative and talented school catering staff around.
"I congratulate the award winners and all our catering staff for their outstanding efforts. Ultimately it is the Borough's children and young people who will benefit from their success. I am sure students are looking forward to sampling their festive fare over the next few weeks."