Aspiring chefs at a Rastick school have shown they have all the ingredients to succeed after they were presented with a prestigious award.
The William Henry Smith School has achieved the Food for Life gold award
Food for Life ambassador and 2014 BBC Food and Farming Awards Cook of the Year, Tony Mulgrew, joined other guests in presenting the certificate to Lindsey Marks, the catering manager at the school, in recognition of the schools’ hard work to transform their catering and food education.
Tony Mulgrew said: “It is a privilege to present this award to Lindsey knowing from experience how hard the school has to work to achieve it. With two Food for Life Gold secondary schools in Calderdale it would be fantastic if we could lead the way for more secondary schools to follow in our footsteps.”
Calderdale Council and the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have funded FFL, to engage with communities, working with Calderdale schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes to make healthy, tasty and sustainable meals and food education the norm for all.
Just 30 schools nationwide have ever reached the gold level of accreditation.
Gaynor Scholefield, Deputy Head of Health Improvement at Calderdale Council said: “Achievement of this award represents a step closer to our goal of making real and long lasting changes to improving positive dietary change in Calderdale and gaining all the associated health and wellbeing benefits.
“We encourage everyone to get involved in Food for Life. At a national level, we’re engaged in innovative work to extend exemplar activity so far in schools to early years settings, care homes and are working to improve hospital food too.”
To achieve gold Lindsey Mark the school cook uses at least 15 per cent organic and 50 per cent local ingredients, and like all our awarded schools, 75 per cent is freshly prepared and uses sustainable sourced fish and ethical and environmentally friendly food whenever possible.
The school has its own nature garden with individual beds and a polytunnel where the boys grow fruit and vegetables throughout the year. They are always proudly coming into the school kitchen with what they have each grown.
Goats, pigs and chickens are kept at the school and yearlong consultations are held with the pupils about different farming systems and welfare then whether to eat any of their farm animals.
Every year the school holds a masterchef competition and invites members of the community to be judges. Staff cook with the students every evening and boys regularly learn valuable life skills by working in the school kitchen.