Schools Poach Michelin Chefs

How many stars would you give your school dinners?

School dinners have always caused controversy and a few top chefs regularly chew the fat and drizzle their own opinions on what menus should look like.

Jamie Oliver has been by far the most passionate about the state of our school dinners through his Feed Me Better campaign and his commitment to good food education through Jamie’s Food Revolution is inspiring.

Now it might sound far-fetched but some schools are actually employing Michelin starred chefs.

As reported in the Daily Telegraph, there is a new campaign to entice top chefs from their swanky kitchens of top restaurants and become head cooks of a school.

There are some top names giving it their backing too: Prue Leith has joined leading restaurateurs Thomasina Miers and Yotam Ottolenghi along with food writer Diana Henry to help launch the charity Chefs in Schools which  hopes to recruit the best of the best to work in school kitchens. The charity says,

We find and train restaurant chefs to work in school kitchens. We believe all children deserve to eat, love and learn about fresh food, cooked from scratch, every school day.

Henry Dimbleby, set up the Chefs in Schools and came up with the idea after Nicole Pisani, the chef from Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant NOPI, started working at his children’s primary school, Gayhurst Community School in Hackney. Her appointment has revolutionised the school’s approach by retraining the school cooks and introducing a traditional restaurant-style hierarchy or brigade de cuisine where everything is cooked from scratch and fresh bread is baked daily. Also, pupils are taught to butcher chickens and cook over fire pits in the playground. You won’t find powered egg and powered mash here.

Other chefs that have made the move include Cheryl-Lynn Booth at Rushmore Primary and Angela Church (Masterchef contestant) at Mandeville Primary, also in Hackney.

Employing top chefs as Catering Managers is a fantastic move and one that deserves success and Chefs in Schools has plans to recruit 100 professional restaurant-trained chefs for 100 state schools over the next five years.

Forget nuggets and chips. Forget dinner ladies.

This is all about sous chefs and Head chefs creating home-made food that is restaurant standard. Obesity has no chance and healthy eating is back on the menu!

Bon appetit!

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