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Stackyard News Jul 06

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    Top Chef Cooks Up A Storm For School Children

Philip Hall, head chef of the award-winning Matfen Hall Hotel near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, joined school caterers, local businesses and producers from across North Tyneside this week in a bid to improve school lunches for the region’s children.

Back row, the kitchen team leaders who  prepared Quality Standard beef and lamb dishes for their peers under the instruction of head chef Phillip Hall; Ivy Moorhead, Sandra Henderson, Terri Laidler, Julie Maghie and Janet Galbraith.     Front row, left to right: Daniel Freeman, director of Freeman's Catering Butchers, the Lamby costume character, Phillip Hall, head chef at Matfen Hall, Hugh Judd, EBLEX foodservice project manager, Andrew Knox, junior sous chef at Matfen Hall, the Beefy costume character, Jamie Freeman, director of Freeman's Catering Butchers .

Over 100 school caterers from across North Tyneside gathered together for a special ‘school menu development training day’ at The Langdale Centre, Wallsend today (Thursday, 20th July), marking the introduction of two new dishes for the school menu developed by Philip Hall and made with locally sourced ingredients.

The new dishes ‘Sautéed Beef with Egg Noodles’ and ‘Spiced Lamb Burger with Mint Raita’ are made with Quality Standard Beef and Lamb and will be on the lunch menu at primary and secondary schools throughout the county for the start of the new term.

The training day was held in conjunction with Freeman’s Catering Butchers, meat supplier to many North Tyneside schools, North Tyneside Council and the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), to promote healthy eating in schools and the use of quality assured beef and lamb. Freeman’s Catering Butchers is a member of EBLEX’s Quality Standard scheme for beef and lamb, which provides reassurance that quality assured meat is being used in the dishes.

On the day, five school caterers joined Philip to prepare, cook and serve up the new dishes to over 100 of their peers for lunch, using fresh ingredients and Quality Standard meat.

Philip is passionate about using fresh local ingredients, he said: “Preparing nutritious good quality meals using fresh local produce is simple, easy and often more affordable than buying frozen or pre-packed ready meals.

“By using good quality ingredients to create home-cooked dishes, we can ensure children receive a healthy balanced diet which tastes great and is really good for them. In this day and age where junk food is everywhere it’s vitally important to teach children about good food in schools so they can go home and educate their parents on the importance of healthy eating, it’s great to be part of making kids healthier.”

Daniel Freeman director of Freeman’s Catering Butchers added: “We’re embarking on our second year supplying Quality Standard beef and lamb to North Tyneside schools; and intend to carry on offering excellent quality local produce to schools in the area. We’re very proud that the meat we supply not only offers full traceability but is quality assured and most importantly locally sourced.

“More and more people are becoming concerned about the origin of their food and asking our sales team where our meat comes from. We can deliver reassurance that all our produce is fully traceable from Northumberland farms and is assured from farm to fork.

“With a reputation for offering top quality produce for fifty years we at Freeman’s are delighted to have been part of the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme for the last two years. We offer our customers peace of mind that our Quality Standard produce is of an outstanding quality with a consistent and superb supply chain.”

Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager for EBLEX joined Philip in the kitchen to help the school caterers prepare the meals. He said: “Quality assurance and traceability of ingredients used in the preparation of children’s meals is of paramount importance. Sourcing meat through a fully assured supply chain, such as the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme for beef and lamb, offers caterers the reassurance that the beef and lamb they serve to the children has been independently audited and been through rigorous quality controls from farm to table – throughout the production process.”

To find out how to join the Quality Standard scheme and benefit from future promotional material available to scheme members, call the scheme hotline on 0800 781 4221.

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