ALISON Hudson spends her working day cooking up treats for hungry mouths at All Hallows Catholic School.

Chef Alison is a familiar face to students at the Weybourne school and she can be seen in the kitchens preparing their dinner.

However, Alison will be feeling the heat when she pits her culinary skills against fellow chefs from schools around the south-east.

Alison made it through the county heats of School Chef of the Year 2002 and will compete in the regional final next week.

The competition is organised by the Local Authority Caterers Association and will see six contestants competing in a cook-off.

All contestants have one and a half hours to prepare a healthy, balanced two-course meal suitable for serving to 11-year-olds.

The cost of the ingredients must not exceed 80p per head.

Alison, who has worked at All Hallows since Easter, came second in the Surrey heat of the competition but is hoping to make it through to the national grand final.

She said the competition is "quite a challenge" and is hoping that nerves do not get the better of her.

"I am a bit apprehensive because it is completely nerve-wracking," Alison added.

"But when I get in there and get cooking I switch off."

Alison, 36, who lives in Farnham, said that the All Hallows students have supported her latest bid for cooking success.

"They think it is quite cool," she added.