EBLEX livens up school meals

A new cook book produced by the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) was used by a Michelin-starred chef at a training day to show school cooks how to try and improve school meals.

Rupert Rowley, head chef at Fischers Restaurant, Baslow Hall, used Hasland Hall Community School in Chesterfield as a base to teach school caterers from across Derbyshire how to prepare and cook two dishes he invented.

Braised Beef Potato Crust and Spicy Lamb Burger with Lemon Salsa, featured in the EBLEX school cook book, will be on the menu at primary and secondary schools throughout the county for the start of the new school term.

Rowley said: "I was excited by the opportunity to help school children learn to enjoy really good, wholesome, healthy food.

"Cooking for adults in a restaurant is totally different from preparing meals on a budget for school children.

"Kids tend to be notoriously fussy eaters too, so it's important to cook dishes that are really tasty and interesting but which give them all the nutrients they need."

The school menu development training day was held in conjunction with EBLEX and Underwood Meat Company (meat supplier to Derbyshire schools and Derbyshire County Council) to promote healthy eating in schools and the use of quality assured beef and lamb.

Underwood Meat Company is a member of EBLEX's Quality Standard scheme for beef and lamb.

John Heeley of Underwood Meat Company, said: "We are delighted to be involved in improving school meals for the children of Derbyshire.

"We always try to source fresh quality produce and we intend to continue to support the council by offering Quality Standard beef and lamb to schools in the area."

Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager for EBLEX, said: "Quality assurance and traceability of ingredients used in the preparation of children's meals is of paramount importance."

He added that sourcing meat through a fully assured supply chain, such as the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme for beef and lamb, offered caterers the reassurance that the beef and lamb had been independently audited and produced to rigorous quality control standards throughout the production process.