Havant school’s Chef of the Year embarks on national tour promoting school dinners
BRITAIN’S School Chef Of The Year, Steve Cross, has embarked on a national tour to promote the importance of school dinners and healthy eating.
Steve, who runs the kitchen at Park Community School, returned to the school as part of School Meals Week’s Taste for Yourself Tour, taking in 10 different venues including a quorn factory in Middlesbrough and Grimsby Fish Market.
Throughout the tour the Michelen Star chef and former cook to the Queen served up examples of the culinary cuisine pupils at the Havant school get to enjoy. Dishes on the menu included blackened Cajun fish, chicken quesadilla and sausage and bean casserole.
Steve said: ‘A big part of the tour is about dispelling the myths which still exist about schools dinners and promoting the fantastic food which is produced by school catering staff up and down the country. School canteen cooks are very passionate about what they do.’
For Steve and Park Community headteacher Chris Anders, the benefits of a nutritious school dinner cannot be underestimated.
Chris said: ‘It’s really exciting for our school that Steve is taking part in this initiative as the country’s top school chef. It’s really important both for their health and learning that children are sufficiently well fed. Being hungry can leave pupils easily distracted and lacking energy.’
It’s a sentiment shared by Havant MP, Alan Mak, who was visiting the school as part of the tour.
Mr Mak said: ‘Healthy meals undoubtedly help children’s learning and I’m delighted that Steve has been selected to help spread this message.’
The school has a longstanding history of utilising food to promote children’s learning including its own farm and a team of Food Ambassadors who work alongside Steve in the school canteen as well as taking part in external catering projects.
Food Ambassador, Bradley Sevoir, 14, said: ‘Working alongside a fantastic chef like Steve is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The quality of his food is extraordinary and helps to give you the right mindset for learning.’
Fellow ambassador, Daniel Haines, 15, added: ‘I’ve learnt so much about food from Steve and want to be a chef when I leave school.’
The initiative, run by school meal providers LACA, also saw the launch of the organisation’s Daily Mile campaign at the school to promote the importance of being active in conjunction with healthy eating.