Andrew Sugden, Food Development Manager at HCL, said: “We’ve re-engineered many of our dishes, looking at ingredients and techniques to see how we can continue to produce tasty meals that students want to eat while reducing added sugar, and without simply replacing it with artificial sweeteners.”
“Our chefs have worked with pupils to develop this new menu, which we’ve designed to bring exciting dishes and new flavours to the county’s school meals, while continuing to provide a healthy, balanced meal for students.”
HCL which provides school meals in the majority of Hertfordshire’s primary and secondary schools, has introduced the new winter menus following taste tests with pupils across the county.
With each menu change HCL introduces seasonal changes to the meals they serve, in addition to trying out some new recipes. On average they introduce more than 10 new dishes on each menu. Other meals are tweaked according to feedback from kitchen staff and pupils. After three months of development each recipe is taste tested by a panel of school pupils before it makes it on the menu of more than 30 delicious dishes. However, some of our dishes which are firm favourites, such as our delicious chicken pie – freshly cooked from scratch on site – remain unchanged.
HCL is a nationally award-winning catering company, having been named both LACA Business of the Year and EDUcatering Local Authority Caterer of the Year in recognition of their excellence in education catering.
HCL has driven increases in the number of meals being served in primary schools in the last year and students in secondary schools are spending more on the healthy food HCL provides on-site, with the average spend per student rising by 13.2% in the last year alone.