Amanda Barrett, catering manager at Bodmin College, has been crowned Big School Bake Off winner 2015.

The bakers were asked to prove their skill with pastry, seeing Amanda take the top spot with her take on a Strawberry Crème Patisserie.

TV Bake Off winner Jo Wheatley headed up the team of judges, which also included Sally Shadrack, vice chair of LACA, Sylvie Babout, LACA representative, and Andy Lagor, Unilever Food Solutions business development chef.

The hotly-contested final saw eight school caterers compete in a technical challenge. Finalists were offered a selection of ingredients to create their perfect sweet pastry dessert. The judges marked them on their choice of ingredients, skill and creativity, appearance, taste and texture.

The eight finalists were:

  • Katie Thomas, assistant cook, Budbrooke Primary School
  • Melanie Sinclair, chef manager, St Paul’s School
  • Paula Broome, catering supervisor, Mundy Junior School
  • Amanda Barrett, catering manager, Bodmin College
  • Stewart Smith, chef manager, Oreston Academy
  • Kath Breckon, cook, West Cliff Primary School
  • Anne Holley, cook-in-charge, St Saviours Junior School
  • Suzanne Robertson, school cook, Richmond Methodist School

Jo Wheatley said: “This year’s Big School Bake Off has been one of the toughest to judge yet. We had to make some hard decisions, but Amanda’s pastry stood out with its perfect pastry base with a hint of orange and its excellent finish – no soggy bottoms here!”

Jo continued: “I’ve really felt the finalists’ passion at every stage of the competition, and have been bowled over by their skill – schools are lucky to be home to such impressive talent.”

James Allred, channel marketing manager, Unilever Food Solutions, said: “Big School Bake Off is a highlight of the school catering calendar because it recognises the dedication and passion which goes into feeding children. The level of skill the entrants have shown has been outstanding. I’d like to congratulate all of them – I know each school will be proud.”

Following in the footsteps of Sarah Medlicott, from Torbay School, Paignton, Amanda receives the Big School Bake Off title, plus a trophy for her and her school, a workshop for four with Jo Wheatley and £100 high street vouchers donated by competition supporter Hobart UK.