Every primary school in Worcestershire was invited to vie for the honour of preparing the meal after creating a nutritious and balanced menu for the Warriors first team squad, using locally-sourced British-grown ingredients.
All entries were highly commended by acclaimed chef and restaurateur Patrick McDonald - father of young Warriors academy star Sam - and Warriors' strength & conditioning coach Keir Hansen.
"Team Pendock took the prize because of their local food usage and knowledge of why the ingredients were included within their menu," says Pat, who then helped them to prepare the meal for Chris Horsman, Phil Murphy, Kai Horstmann, Tim Collier, Will Bowley and Gavin Quinnell, six of the biggest appetites at the club.
The menu consisted of:
• Spicy sweet potato and butternut squash soup
• Lamb and mint burgers with lamb sausages in granary rolls
• Salad and tomato salsa
Hillworth Farm foods, local wholesale greengrocers Clives Farm shop and even the children's grandparents supplied the ingredients, and reasons for using the ingredients included the following:
• Chickpeas provide slow release carbohydrates to give energy
• Vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that don't drain away when cooking soup
• Lamb provides protein that helps build and repair the body
• Locally-produced produce cuts down on pollution by having to travel less.
The judges also highly commended Hanley Swan C of E Primary for an excellent entry.
The winners joined Patrick to cook the winning menu for some members of the first team at Sixways. They followed follow that with a tour behind the scenes and a chance to meet the players themselves to see what they thought of the food!
According to Warriors community development manager Dan Zaltzman, they were impressed - as the empty plates illustrated.
"We had no trouble getting players to volunteer themselves, once they'd discovered what was on the menu," Dan says. "The children enjoyed preparing the food nearly as much as sitting down to eat it with Chris, Phil, Kai, Tim, Will and Gav. Luckily, they'd prepared enough for twice as many people, because these boys can eat! The food was gorgeous and very much appreciated by the players as you can see from the empty plates.
"A lot has happened recently with raising the awareness of the importance of a balanced diet in schools. Many schools have worked very hard to address this, but it's sometimes difficult to capture the imagination of the children and get them to fully understand how important good nutrition is.
"By using the positive role models of the players, and the 'carrot' of being able to cook for them, it's hoped that we can help teachers to successfully get the message across."