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LACA’s National School Meals Week ‘Host a School Chef’ Initiative features on TV tonight

Published: Thursday, 3rd November 2016


Details: – BBC Midlands Today, also on Sky Channel 959, 6.30pm

School Chef Chrissy Jackson from Ark Rose Primary has today been impressing Michelin Star Chef Glynn Purnell as part of LACA’s National School Meal Week’s ‘Host a School Chef’ initiative. Crissy, who is employed by CityServe, Birmingham, largest provider of school meals, has spent the day at the acclaimed Purnell’s Restaurant working alongside Glynn and his brigade as they produced fine dining cuisine for excited customers. On completing her shift, Chrissy said this has been one of the best days in her professional career and was both pleased and proud to have been involved in this once in a life time opportunity.

Chrissy was keen to take part in the exciting initiative since hearing about it from her Client Manager – the challenge was on for LACA’s NSMW Team to match Chrissy with a placement venue. It took only one call to Glynn, a great supporter of the importance of school food, who jumped at the chance to show his support.

What’s more, the BBC, when advised of the initiative, were delighted to feature LACA’s activities in a piece that will be aired this evening at 6.30pm on the BBC Midlands Today show. The TV crew spent yesterday in Chrissy’s school interviewing the children and today in the restaurant to complete the filming.

LACA Chair Sally Shadrack said: “LACA are immensely proud that representatives of the school catering industry will once again be showing off their skills in famous venues. So far, during this week we have placed 2 School Caterers in the House of Commons, 8 at the Senedd (Welsh Assembly Building) and many more in such venues as the 5 Star Grosvenor Hotel (Chester), Alyn Williams at the Westbury (Mayfair), Royal Garden Hotel (Kensington), Yorebridge House (Bainbridge). School chefs working in such venues is a fantastic way to exhibit the high standards of cooking found across our industry and display that those cooking school food can be counted as among the most professional in the catering industry. The school food industry continues to move from strength to strength and having school chefs display their craft is yet another sign of this.

Glynn said: “When I heard about the Host a School Chef concept for LACA’s National School Meals Week, I had no hesitation in offering a place at Purnell’s Restaurant and I am looking forward to welcoming Chrissy to our kitchen and working with her for the day. School caterers do a terrific job that often goes unheralded; there are few more important things in life, than making sure that our children are being well fed and nourished daily. The thousands of people that work in the school meals industry do just that every day of the school year and you have to be able to handle the pressure of preparing, cooking and serving, in many cases, hundreds of covers in a very short space of time. I am delighted to be involved and making a contribution to the celebrations”

Cityserve Client Manager, Claire Pettit, commented: “I am absolutely delighted that Chrissy has been offered this placement and the opportunity to work with one of the country’s most celebrated chefs. Chrissy is a dedicated and hardworking individual who, along with her team, produces delicious, healthy and nutritious food on a daily basis for her ‘customers’ the pupils of Ark Rose Primary. I am sure that she will thoroughly embrace the experience of working with Glynn and it is very well deserved recognition for her contribution to Ark Rose Primary Academy.”

Glynn, who will be hosting Saturday Kitchen Live in a fortnight, is also a rather celebrated author and gave Crissy signed copies of his two most recent publications ‘Cracking Yolks and Pig Tales’ and ‘Rib Ticklers and Choux Ins’. The Rib Ticklers book was only released on 15th September. Glynn will also star in his new show called Secret Chef which is due to air early next year.

LACA has been placing school chefs in high profile restaurants for the past 2 – 3 years, promoting the skills and professionalism of the many thousands of dedicated staff employed in the industry. Every year the visits prove a highlight for the school caterers. LACA wishes all chefs the best of luck with their visits and we look forward to finding out about their experiences after NSMW has finished.

The NSMW ‘Host a School Chef’ Initiative runs all year round, so as to secure both fantastic opportunities and great PR for the industry, if you would like to get involved please email

Please let us know what you have been doing for NSMW

Twitter:                              @NSMW or @LACA_UK use #schoolmealsshoutout or #cookeditmtyselfie

Instagram:                         @NSMW1