School lunch at the Commons with EBLEX

Quality Standard beef and lamb school lunch dishes made an appearance at the House of Commons yesterday, courtesy of the English Beef and Lamb Executive.

The School Lunch on the Terrace event saw MPs, peers and local education authority representatives sample three Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb dishes which are currently on lunch menus in North Tyneside, Cumbria and Derbyshire schools.

EBLEX chief executive Richard Ali said: "Increasing the amount of quality assured produce on school lunch menus is an objective shared by everyone in the farming industry.

"By demonstrating how EBLEX has worked with these three local education authorities, we hope to show how a quality assured beef and lamb supply chain for the public sector can be put together to benefit everyone involved - from farmers and processors through to the schoolchildren themselves."

Created by three award-winning chefs for the three local education authorities concerned, the Quality Standard Mark beef and lamb dishes were designed both to meet current nutritional guidelines on school meals and be easy for kitchen staff to prepare from scratch.

The event, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on English Beef and Lamb, saw parliamentarians sample Braised Beef with a Potato Crust, Spicy Lamb Burgers with Lemon Salsa and Sautéed Beef with Egg Noodles.

The Sautéed Beef with Egg Noodles and Spiced Lamb Burger with Mint Raita were created by Philip Hall, head chef of Matfen Hall Hotel near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Freemans Catering Butchers, which supplies schools in North Tyneside, provided the meat for the dishes.

The Lamb and Mint Burger and Steak, Vegetable and Onion Pie with a Herb Suet Crust were created by top chef Nick Foster during his time as head chef at the Drunken Duck Inn, Ambelside. The meat was provided by Pioneer Foodservice which supplies schools across Cumbria County Council.

The Spicy Lamb Burgers with Lemon Salsa and Braised Beef Potato Crust were developed by Rupert Rowley, head chef of Fischers Restaurant, Baslow Hall in Baslow, Derbyshire. The meat for these dishes which go to 430 Derbyshire County Council schools was supplied by Underwood Meats in Rotherham.