Our head chef has complete control over the sourcing of all the food that comes into the school. That includes sourcing locally produced, homogenized dairy milk for our breakfast club. We basically see ourselves as no different to Gordan Ramsey’s restaurant situated just up the road and we source local, best quality suppliers, often negotiating excellent deals for top quality produce such as free-range meat and dairy products. Every penny paid into the school for school meals is spent on the best quality possible, raw materials for cooking, and the staff to cook them. We very occasionally change our suppliers when new, better deals or providers become available.
Butcher (free-range meat and eggs)
9 Elystan St, Chelsea, London SW3 3NT http://www.jagobutchersofchelsea.co.uk/
Fishmonger (fresh fish)
Brixham Sea Fish Brixham Sea Fish Ltd, Unit D, New Fish Quay, Brixham, TQ5 http://www.brixhamseafish.com/
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (and some dairy) Euro Harvest Ltd New Covent Garden Fruit & Vegetable Market, Nine Elms, London SW8 5HH
Dairy (unhomogenised Jersey and Guernsey milk) The Estate Dairy www.theestatedairy.com
Italian produce, dry pasta, larder products/tinned produce Prestige Food and Wine Ltd Fairway Trading Estate, Unit 10, Green Ln, Hounslow TW4 6BU www.prestigefoodandwine.com
Although our kitchen teams are relatively small, we do our very best to deliver an equally outstanding lunch provision to those children with specific food allergies and doctor certified food intolerance. This is achieved by carefully studying and adhering to the individual’s medical notes and meeting with the parents of the child, to fully discuss and consider suggested alternatives available.
It would be true to say that the kitchen will do it’s best to cater for food preferences throughout the school. Our head chef, along with Mrs Hawkins, discusses menu preferences with year classes to obtain valuable feedback about favourite meals at school (and at home) as well as less favoured meals. This valuable information helps us to best plan and determine the ongoing seasonal three week rolling menu. We also monitor daily the whole schools eating patterns to determine which meals are successful and which meals might require further tweaking. Essentially if meals do not inspire the children to eat, we do remove them from the menu. Clean plates and contented kids inspire us hugely. The proof is in the eating.
On the first day of the new academic year Reception parents or carers are invited to join us for Reception Class’ first school lunch. This is terrific fun and allows all new parents a chance to see and sample first hand the type of food their children will be eating for the rest of the Reception year. All parents are also invited to join the children for lunch in regular “Parents to Lunch” sessions over the year. This is an opportunity to enjoy lunch with the children and to see for themselves just how buzzing the school hall is at lunchtime, how each unique sitting is served, and how delicious the food is.
Staff regularly eat lunch with the children. They encourage slow or hesitant eaters and set an example on good eating habits and healthy choices. There are three sittings for lunch so that all the children have a positive experience and have lots of time to eat and spend time at the dining table with their friends. There is an emphasis on manners and best food etiquette, which is very much promoted by our lunch time supervisors, kitchen staff and teaching staff.
There is a rolling three-weekly menu that is regularly revisited, adapted and led by the seasons, but that is also in line with Government healthy eating requirements. As previously mentioned, children help review and shape this evolving menu. Each new term sees a new seasonal menu reflecting changes in seasonal fruit, vegetables, meat and fish etc. We are delighted to say that we are also lucky enough to use produce grown by the children, in our own school gardens. This food is by far the most delicious and exciting to taste. Furthermore, the children get to develop an acute understanding of how their food is grown, how seasonal food is relevant to sustainable living and how rewarding healthy food choices really can be when shared with others. Fantastic life skills and great lifelong learning.