Cucina’s clean water project through purchases of Life Water is now complete!

We are proud to announce that Cucina’s clean water project through purchases of Life Water is now complete! The Bamon Para community of 1960 people in West Bengal now have immediate access to safe, clean drinking water improving their prospects of a brighter future. “Our gratitude to the sponsors of this well, because they are […]

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Cucina Restaurants awarded Vegetarian Society approved status for second consecutive year

Vegetarian Society Approved trademark underlines school caterer’s commitment to excellence For the second successive year, products and dishes of artisan school catering company Cucina Restaurants have been licensed to carry the Vegetarian Society Approved trademark. This accreditation gives continuing assurance to students and staff that all vegetarian dishes served in its restaurants are of the […]

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We’re not about words or badges, we’re all about the food

When just about every school caterer seems to be saying the same things about their service and the provenance of their food (we cook our food fresh each day, we use fresh, locally sourced ingredients, we offer vast daily choices…etc), what are you to actually believe? How can you know what their service and their […]

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Cucina Restaurants awarded Soil Association Gold Catering Mark

Pioneering school caterer and Southfield School for Girls win top Catering Mark accreditation. Artisan secondary school caterer Cucina Restaurants and Southfield School for Girls have been awarded the Soil Association’s coveted Food for Life Gold Catering Mark. The award followed a rigorous process of auditing for the highest standards of provenance and traceability, to provide […]

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Newest Milton Keynes restaurant opens – in a school

Milton Keynes’ newest restaurant has opened in a school.

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Up to speed, from day one: the impact of a new Cucina restaurant opening

After a restful Christmas break, two new Cucina restaurant openings meant that our New Year started with a real bang. While this has been a very busy time for our teams, it has also been a truly wonderful and inspiring one. Unlike every other school food company I have worked for over the course of […]

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Reviewing 2015

We’ve now had the first full year of the new School Food Standards which were launched in January 2015. Mandatory in all maintained schools as well as academies and free schools, the standards are aimed at ensuring that food provided in schools is healthy and nutritious. But ironically, the best caterers will always be the […]

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They’re The Chef

It’s been a great school year for Cucina so far and as is often the case, our success has come through the work we do to develop new and exciting food offerings. Our new travelling Street Food stall is a great example of this. In my role as Director of Food, I spend quite a […]

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Streets ahead: My thoughts on my first half term at Cucina

Streets ahead: My thoughts on my first half term at Cucina

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They’re the chef – Teaching students about British food

This year, for the second time, we partnered the Love British Food organisation’s ‘British Food Fortnight’. When we first sat down to plan the 2015 project, we wanted to come up with something that could involve all our customers around the country in a British food activity. Last year’s project brought many benefits, one of […]

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Management restructure at Cucina

In response to the healthy growth of the business in recent years, we have reorganised our management structure, with owner Steve Quinn moving to the position of Chief Executive and Mr Stuart Lenton taking over as Managing Director. Stuart, with over 28 years in the school food industry, has spent the past 15 years of […]

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Driven by the vision

Looking back to those early days of our business, starting from absolute scratch, with hardly any money and no contracts, it took real guts and huge belief to set out on that long road of making our school food vision a reality. A burning question at the time was what we were going to call the company.

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Our success – it’s a ‘vision thing’

Our success – it’s a ‘vision thing’

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Professional MasterChef winner joins national school caterer

Culinary genius Ash Mair to lead Cucina Restaurants development chef team

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Exciting times for the school food industry

Cucina are really delighted to be welcoming BBC professional Masterchef winner Ash Mair to our development team.

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Why we’re proud of our Vegetarian Society accreditation

Cucina has just become a member of The Vegetarian Society Food & Drink Guild. 

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Cucina Restaurants joins The Vegetarian Society Food & Drink Guild

State school catering firm Cucina Restaurants has won Vegetarian Society accreditation, earning the right to display the Society’s renowned trademark on all of its vegetarian food products. This symbol, respected worldwide as the only vegetarian logo to recognise the ethical preferences of vegetarians, confirms that the food items on which it appears are free from animal fats […]

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Why we’re bringing Street Food into schools

About a month ago, our Directors and Executive Group Chefs joined BBC Masterchef champion Ash Mair to check out the street food scene in London. 

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Catering for change: our plans for a new research project

I agree with a lot of what is currently being said about the growing problem of childhood obesity and its implications for the future health of our nation. But I don’t think we will start to tackle it in any kind of meaningful way without a much clearer and more detailed understanding of the main […]

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Boxing Day Dinner and beyond

This year, after Christmas Dinners, we will also be serving Boxing Day Dinners.

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Going for Gold

More than anything else, the Cucina brand is about refusing to compromise on the quality and range of the food we serve.

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Martha’s Bake Off for Children in Need

Great British Bake Off Quarter Finalist Martha Collison bakes with Cucina Restaurants for ‘Children In Need’  Great British Bake Off Quarter Finalist Martha Collison has teamed with her school catering company Cucina Restaurants to raise money for Children In Need in 47 schools across the UK. The Year 13 student from Charters School in Sunningdale […]

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An inspirational start to the school year

I must admit that back in September I was slightly concerned about the timing of our Phil Howard ‘Cucina British Classics’ range for British Food Fortnight, mainly because it was asking so much of teams who already had so much to do. With seven new openings as well as 42 existing contracts, it was shaping […]

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Working with our foodie hero, Phil Howard

Four new contract openings means that this is a very busy time for us right now, with all members of our senior team working hard to ensure the existing kitchen teams bring the school food service up to the Cucina standard quickly and smoothly. It’s hard work, but very rewarding when we see the results […]

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Phil Howard to create British Classics menu with Cucina for British Food Fortnight

Two Michelin Star Great British Menu judge to produce school food range for annual harvest celebration of British food. High profile chef Phil Howard, the two Michelin Star owner and proprietor of The Square restaurant in Mayfair, is teaming with school catering firm Cucina Restaurants to produce a special ‘British Classics’ school food range for […]

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Cucina partners with ‘Love British Food’ for British Food Fortnight

School caterer working with celebrity chef to develop special ‘British Classics’ range Pioneering school caterer Cucina Restaurants, the first school food company to install high calibre chefs into each of its school kitchens, has become a  partner  of British Food Fortnight, the UK’s national celebration of the very best of British food and British food […]

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Staying the right size

You may have seen our recent announcements about Cucina’s new contract wins. These bring us up to 47 contracts now – just three short of our targeted ceiling of 50 partner schools. It may seem strange that as a company we don’t want to ‘take over the world’ and become one of the giants of […]

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Making the new food standards work

I applaud the government’s newly announced Revised Standards for Food in Schools. There’s obviously been a lot of work gone into developing and testing these, and by and large, they’re eminently sensible. The standards have been devised to make a difference to the health of future generations and to tackle the growing problem of childhood obesity. Can […]

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School caterer suggests food standards be part of Ofsted

Steve Quinn of Cucina praises new school food standards but calls for greater accountability Praising the government’s revised school food standards which were announced last week, the head of a UK secondary school catering company has called for the government’s revised school food standards to be linked to a ‘rigorous system of accountability’. Writing in […]

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Wessex gold for Cucina Head Chef

Stockley Academy’s Dean Wentworth wins gold and silver at Salon Culinaire event Cucina’s Dean Wentworth, Head Chef of Stockley Academy, Middlesex has won gold and silver medals at Wessex Salon Culinaire, organised by The Craft Guild of Chefs and held at Brockenhurst College, Hampshire on May 28 and 29 2014. The event is one of the […]

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Cucina chefs ‘Best in Class’ at Salon Culinaire

Chefs from leading school catering firm Cucina Restaurants won ‘Best in Class’, Silver and Bronze medals in the recent Salon Culinaire competition at London’s prestigious Hotelympia event. Cucina chefs Andy Wilcock, Mark Cartwright and Dean Wentworth were all winners, with Mark and Andy taking Silver and ‘Best in Class’ in Thursday’s  ‘Live Theatre’ Soups and Sauce […]

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Cucina Restaurants joins Sustain’s Real Bread Campaign

School catering firm praised for creating healthier eating opportunities National school catering company Cucina Restaurants has thrown its weight behind Sustain charity’s Real Bread Campaign, a food industry alliance to encourage the enjoyment, production and consumption of bread made with natural ingredients and no adulterants. Commenting, Sam Davies, Cucina’s Director of Food said: “Our company […]

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No choice but to innovate

A great thing about being in the vanguard of the industry is the contribution that we are able to make to our industry. I’m not a fan of innovation just for its own sake, but I do get excited about taking something that exists, asking how we can make things better and then developing new […]

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Cucina retains Stockley Academy contract

Two year extension worth more than £500,000 School catering firm Cucina Restaurants has retained its contract at Stockley Academy in Hillingdon, Middlesex.  Extension of its three-year contract is worth an estimated  £509,573 over two years. Cucina MD Steve Quinn said: “We’re thrilled with this, and delighted to be continuing our excellent partnership with Stockley Academy.”

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Good bread makes good sales

Bread, made properly, is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and it’s also one of the simplest to make. Which is why I think it is a shame that so many caterers buy all of their bread in, rather than making it on site themselves. A lot of industrially produced bread contains processing […]

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Why opening a High Street restaurant is not a ‘departure’ for us

We were thrilled to receive a glowing 5-star review for our newly opened High St restaurant ‘The Oxford Kitchen’ in yesterday’s Oxford Times. I’m actually not sure it would have been possible to get a better review. Here are some of the comments: “…adventurous, detailed, interesting, innovative, consistent, mind-blowing, unique and a breath of fresh […]

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National school caterer creates Oxford restaurant

‘The Oxford Kitchen’ on course for pre-Christmas opening Steve Quinn and Sam Davies, owners and directors of high-end school catering firm Cucina Restaurants are to open ‘The Oxford Kitchen’ –  a new restaurant in Oxford’s Summertown area. The new restaurant, formerly known as Florios, is currently undergoing a completely new redesign and refit to create […]

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Staying fresh and consistent – the key to higher sales

As pioneers of high end school food, perhaps the most crucial aspect of our work is achieving and maintaining consistency right across our brand. When you go into the London Pret a Manger, you would expect a Hoisin Duck Salad Wrap to be exactly the same as the one you ate at their Oxford outlet. […]

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Measuring success

We had some big nights out a few weeks ago, at two industry awards ceremonies – in quick succession. The first was the ‘Foodservice Cateys’ where we were on a shortlist of three for ‘Education Caterer of the Year’. veritrix.com/mobi/ Finalists were selected from the many school catering companies which entered, and while we didn’t […]

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Cucina up for 3 major food industry awards

Groundbreaking school caterer shortlisted for Foodservice Cateys and Educatering Excellence Awards Cucina Restaurants has been shortlisted for 3 major food industry awards, all of which will be announced in October. The company has made a shortlist of 3 for Education Caterer of the Year at  the first ever ‘Foodservice Cateys’, organised by Caterer & Hotelkeeper […]

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Why free school meals for all UK 5-7 year olds is a bad idea

I never like to pour cold water on positive action in my industry, but I have to say that pledging £600m to give free school meals to all under 8s in the country is a ridiculous idea and a huge waste of money. It seems to be that this proposal is little more than a […]

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Cucina responds to the School Food Plan

Reservations about packed lunches ban but broad agreement on recommendations National school catering company Cucina Restaurants has responded in a broadly positive way to the government’s recently unveiled School Food Plan. Writing in the company’s official blog, Cucina’s Director of Food Sam Davies expressed reservations about the proposal to ban packed lunches but commended other […]

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What do we make of The School Food Plan?

The long-awaited School Food Plan is out and I think it has lots to commend it. Unfortunately, the recommendation to ban packed lunches has been the only aspect to really receive much media attention. While I have serious reservations about this issue myself, I think there is much to be commended in this plan and […]

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Wilmington Academy fruit and vegetables star in school Horticulture Show

On July 15, Wilmington Academy students hosted a horticulture business trade show, involving local garden centres and other businesses, horticultural colleges, the school beekeeping club as well as teachers and students from other schools. Cucina chef Mark Cartwright put on a cooking demo with food from the garden… igethair.com/axs/files/ “We took the produce out of […]

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Leigh Academy students cater for cricket stars

Gourmet menu served at Lashings cricket event On Friday 5 July, 30 year 10 students at The Leigh Technology Academy served a special gourmet lunch for ex Test cricket stars at the Lashings World XI Cricket Gala day. Organised by the Leigh Academy Trust, this special event featured a galaxy of past and present cricket […]

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Should schools really consider banning packed lunches?

Should schools really consider banning packed lunches?

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School catering company’s management team goes back to cooking and cleaning

Top performing Cucina team enjoys treats, while bosses step in to stage super-heroes theme day The catering staff at Hertfordshire’s Bushey Academy were treated to a fun day out on Wednesday 21 November, with the company’s management team coming in to replace them for the day. The outing, which was the team’s reward for being […]

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It’s all about 100%

It hasn’t ever happened before In Cucina’s 8 year history, but recently we decided to end one of our school catering contracts. This was no easy decision, believe me, but we are now convinced this was the very best outcome for us and the school in question. So what would lead us to such a […]

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Cucina wins 2 new school catering contracts

School caterer’s new contracts worth a combined £3m over 5 years School caterer Cucina has won 2 new school contracts in Kent, together worth an estimated £3m over 5 years. The first is at Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School in Sidcup. Cucina will provide catering services on a three-year contract (with 2-year extension) to the […]

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Buying our own farm

I’m excited to say that the dream of buying our own farm may finally become a reality. We’re nowhere near the ‘sign on the dotted line’ stage yet, but we are now looking at a number of suitable sites around the country. This is a huge step, as a few people have reminded me. And […]

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Good school caterers are educators too

Could you ever imagine a situation where a restaurant waiter tells a diner off for not eating up their greens and finishing their meal? Me neither – it’s an absurd idea and it make me wonder why some people stick with this approach to children’s eating. Many of us have bad memories of our own […]

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Cucina quadruples school meal uptake in Hertswood

Sales go ‘through the roof’ in new contract In the first week of its new contract at Hertswood School, Cucina has quadrupled the uptake of school meals. Cucina Director Sam Davies said: “As in all our new contracts, we’ve been working hard to get everything just right and the results have been fantastic. The students […]

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More than just horse meat

I am really saddened by this latest crisis to hit the catering and hospitality industry. I feel for the many excellent catering operators who do not deal in processed meat or any other processed food. Quite unfairly, all are coming under the same cloud. And yet despite this, I think good will eventually come out […]

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Cucina’s Executive Group Chef Andy Wilcock appeared on Channel 4 news recently, commenting on the current horse meat food scandal.

Cucina was invited onto the programme to show how, with a more diligent and ethical approach to food sourcing and less reliance on processed foods, this crisis could have been avoided. One Hour Online Loans Cucina does not, never has, and never will use any processed food in its restaurants. We work hard to ensure […]

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It’s only words…

‘Fine words butter no parsnips’ – a great saying when you think beyond its literal meaning. (But if you’re asking, I prefer my parsnips without butter, thank you very much). The lesson here is that any fine words we use in business should have truth behind them. Words spring easily to mind but these can […]

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Taking control of the quality

I guess you can imagine how excited I was the day that Steve and I visited a farm with serious thoughts about actually buying it for the company! In the end that potential purchase didn’t prove to be a practical option, but the thought has never left me, and I am sure that one day […]

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Dartford school student produces 200 Christmas puddings

Would-be chef mixes186 kilos of Cucina festive pud  13 year-old Levi Bartley, a year 8 student at Leigh Technology Academy was hard at work  before and after school last week, to help make 200 Christmas puddings in his school kitchen. Levi, who dreams of becoming a chef when he is older, has been working in […]

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Chicken and egg: How we get so many kids eating great food

By Cucina’s Director of Food, Sam Davies As Director of Food for a school catering company, I often get asked how we manage to keep producing top restaurant quality food and remain profitable, with prices going up all the time. This is actually a very good question and it deserves a full answer, so here […]

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Black Garlic: All hail the new superfood!

Many in the catering industry – including me – are now starting to understand and exploit the exciting possibilities of the new superfood sensation, black garlic. Black garlic is produced when ordinary white garlic is put through a 2-3 month heat-fermentation process. This endows it with properties strikingly different from the original. direct cash loans […]

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Masterchef school dinners for 50,000 secondary students

Reigning TV ‘Masterchef the Professionals’ champion Ash Mair unveils school food signature range 50,000 UK school students are now being offered Masterchef-created gourmet lunch items, thanks to Ash Mair, reigning champion of the popular BBC programme ‘Masterchef the Professionals’. Mair, dubbed ‘a supreme talent’ by 2-Michelin star culinary legend Michel Roux Junior, worked with Cucina’s […]

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2 Michelin star legend talks about working with us in the future

  What a thrill it was for the Cucina team to welcome food legend Phil Howard into our Teddington School kitchen last week. We’d all watched Phil’s work on BBC’s ‘The Great British Menu’ with great admiration. When you see the country’s most prestigious chefs competing against each other like this, the perfection of their […]

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School catering company’s management team goes back to cooking and cleaning

Top performing Cucina team enjoys treats, while bosses step in to stage super-heroes theme day The catering staff at Hertfordshire’s Bushey Academy were treated to a fun day out on Wednesday 21 November, with the company’s management team coming in to replace them for the day. The outing, which was the team’s reward for being […]

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TV chef Phil Howard looks to partner with school caterer

Food industry legend explores collaboration with Cucina following Teddington School visit Phil Howard, 2-Michelin star owner of Mayfair’s ‘The Square’ restaurant and star of BBC’s ‘The Great British Menu’ spent the morning of 14 November visiting school catering company Cucina at its Teddington School Restaurant to explore how he might work with the company in […]

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Rules that are made to be broken

I just can’t get excited about Jamie Oliver’s reaction to LACA’s new survey of parents. So why, you may ask, wouldn’t I want to throw my full weight behind Jamie’s renewed call for universal nutritional standards for all schools? Is this Steve Quinn being difficult just for the sake of it? No, it is not. […]

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Year 9&10 catering students serve gourmet 3-course meal to Denise Lewis, Gianfranco Zola and a host of high-profile guests

Young catering students at The Harefield Academy in Middlesex helped prepare and present a gastronomic dinner to 250 guests at a biennial Sports Personality Awards dinner held last week. Denise Lewis, football legend Gianfranco Zola, Paralympic tennis silver medallist Andy Lapthorne and Hillingdon Lord Cllr Mayor Michael Markham were just some of the many high […]

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Why we must keep offering more and more food choices

Putting on 40-60 fresh food choices cooked from scratch at each of 40 UK sites, each school day means lots of hard work for lots of people. So why do we keep on doing it? Do we really have to make it this hard for ourselves? From a business point of view it’s easy to […]

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Our biggest challenge now – to keep it all going

It’s interesting that that since my recent appearance on Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, I’ve had a few comments and questions about why I talk so much about the quality of school food. Without wanting to sound in any way conceited, we really don’t need to be pushing any more school food frontiers at this stage […]

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Channel 4’s Dispatches highlights dangers of flawed nutritional guidelines

‘50% meat’ sausage still within government guidelines, says school caterer Channel 4’s recently-aired Dispatches programme ‘The School Food Scandal’ has shown how adherence to the government’s nutritional guidelines is still allowing schools in the maintained sector to prepare and sell low-cost, low-grade food to students each day. Echoing Jamie Oliver’s dissatisfaction with the nutritional guidelines, […]

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Reigning BBC Pro Masterchef champ teams with school caterer

Acclaimed culinary talent Ash Mair develops new menus for Cucina School catering company Cucina Restaurants recently employed the services of BBC’s reigning ‘Masterchef The Professionals’ champion Ash Mair to  develop new menu offerings for the start of this new school year. loans san jose Working alongside Cucina’s new Guild of Chefs, Mair, acclaimed a ‘supreme […]

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Cucina’s Steve Quinn to be interviewed on Monday’s Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’

School caterer to share insights on the state of school dinners in the UK: ‘The School Dinner Scandal’ – airing 8pm, this coming Monday 10 September

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McDonalds at the Olympics: a food culture that works

I’m just in from Olympic Park, where an amazing and memorable family day out included lunch at McDonalds. Hypocrisy, after all I’ve written and said about ‘junk’ food? You may say so, but let’s put the nutrition argument aside for a moment and just concentrate on the customer experience. It’s true that the McDonald’s building […]

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We don’t need inquiries or a new ‘School Food Plan’ – we need action and we need it now!

As the owner and operator of 40 UK school restaurants feeding around 50,000 young people each day, I can only sum up my response to Michael Gove’s announced ‘School Food Plan’ in one word – ‘stupid’. Forget Jamie Oliver’s argument about the fudging and the time-wasting for a just a moment. (Although I heartily agree […]

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BBC Professional Masterchef champion comes to Cucina

Star TV chef Ash Mair keen to work with Cucina Restaurants after Harefield Academy meeting On Monday 25 June, Cucina Restaurants welcomed BBC Professional Masterchef champion Ash Mair to its school restaurant in The Harefield Academy. Mair, acclaimed as ‘a supreme talent’ by 2 Michelin Star culinary legend Michel Roux Jr, spent the morning meeting […]

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Professional Masterchef winner Ash Mair, welcome aboard!

It was very exciting to receive Professional Masterchef winner Ash Mair to our Harefield Academy restaurant last Monday. Here is a food talent who completely wowed the TV show judges with his incredible ability to bring ingredients and flavours together into original and exquisite tastes and presentations. You know how sometimes when you watch these […]

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Lets have more ‘Martha’s’ blogs!

The recent media story of young Martha Payne’s blog ( NeverSeconds: http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk ) should be an inspiration to us all. Not only is this young girl making a difference to the lives of many less fortunate than her, she is also demonstrating what can be done by young people to help drive better eating and […]

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Cucina offers Olympics tickets

Cucina prize bonanza includes Sony PS Vita, Nintendo 3DS and official Euro 2012 match balls. Lucky students dining in Cucina school restaurants will have the chance to win Olympic tickets alongside other substantial prizes in a summer festival of sport about to get under way in all 37 of the company’s school and academy restaurants. […]

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Lies, damned lies, and food standards

Why most schools don’t follow the nutritional guidelines You probably heard about the recent School Food Trust report in which 9 out of 10 academies were said to be selling ‘junk’ food to students, in direct contravention of the government’s nutritional guidelines for schools. You may even have been shocked. I actually wasn’t. Why? I’ll […]

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School Catering MD attacks poor policing of nutritional guidelines in schools

Over 90% of Maintained Schools are almost certainly in breach, says Cucina boss Steve Quinn, Managing Director of school catering company Cucina has launched an attack on the way that the current nutritional guidelines are being enforced in maintained schools, stating that in his opinion, around 90% of all schools were in breach of these […]

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Can fast food ever be good food?

Many people believe that fast food means junk food. I don’t think that has to be true. With the right approach, fast food can be good food too. Fast food, like so many things in business, is about recognising what customers need. At a roadside, you don’t want to be stopping for 2 hours, you […]

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Jamie Oliver academies attack risks obscuring school restaurant achievements

Jamie Oliver’s recent attack on Michael Gove’s attitude to school food standards may fool the public into thinking that not much has been achieved in raising nutritional standards in academies, says the head of a UK school catering firm. Steve Quinn, MD of Cucina Ltd (operating fully-fledged restaurants in 37 UK schools) believes that Jamie […]

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Should we be afraid of fried?

People often ask me if fried food is bad for you. When I answer ‘not necessarily’ I sometimes get quizzical looks. That’s understandable, because we all have this notion of ‘fried’ as a ‘nice but naughty’ food choice. To my ‘not necessarily’ answer I add that it’s a case of all things in moderation. If […]

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Cucina retains contracts at The Harefield Academy and Edgebarrow School

Cucina retains contracts at The Harefield Academy and Edgebarrow School

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Young Chef of the Year – a cause for pride, and for optimism too!

Is healthy family eating a lost cause now? I’ll answer a confident ‘no’, to that, even though family life has changed so much in just a few generations. The good old days of the happy family sat down to dinner with Dad at the head of the table carving up the roast may be gone, […]

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School restaurant inspires academy’s ‘Young Chef of the Year’ Winner

Cucina’s restaurant approach to school food helps inspire year 11 student to ‘Young Chef of the Year’ victory. Hearty congratulations to Rebecca Potter, Year 11 student at Harefield Academy in Middlesex, who won her district final in Rotary’s ‘Young Chef of the Year’ competition. Finalists were required to prepare two courses for £15 or under. […]

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Trimming down to meet demand

We all know how tough things are at the moment. But some retailers are coping surprisingly well by re-focusing their product offerings onto smaller, lower-priced items. I’m convinced that a large part of our ongoing success is because we’ve always kept a sharp focus on affordability and value for our customers. We recently had several […]

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Hens adopted by school caterers

Cucina has adopted a former battery farm hen for each of the 37 schools at which it has contracts up and down the country.

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School food standards and academies. It’s a good news story, silly!

There’s quite a bit of strong opinion going around on the subject of Academies and school food standards, some of which I consider to be somewhat ill-informed.

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Improving school meal take-up isn’t about price. It’s about people wanting to eat the food.

In most of the current public discussions about school food, ‘price’ is being cited as the most important factor affecting school meal take-up. According to some of the most popular ideas being put forward at the moment, every student in every school would sign up to school dinners tomorrow if we made them free. Let’s […]

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Ash is King: Masterchef crowns a deserving champ

Ash is King: Masterchef crowns a deserving champ

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Ready or not, here we come!

If you’ve read a few of my posts here, you’ll know something of the core beliefs that drive us at Cucina and set us apart from our competitors.

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And so, this is Christmas…

Well, that’s Christmas dinners done, and I must admit, I’m feeling fairly exhausted now.

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Jamie Oliver challenged on School meal government standards debate by Cucina

Jamie Oliver challenged on School meal government standards debate by Cucina

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On the first day of Christmas Cucina gave to me…

On the first day of Christmas Cucina gave to me…

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Cucina doubles funds raised at its school restaurants for Children in Need

Cucina doubles funds raised at its school restaurants for Children in Need

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Am I taken aback by these comments? No. I’m gobsmacked!

Am I taken aback by these comments? No. I’m gobsmacked!

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The answer is 12, but what’s the question? Clue: it’s about school Christmas Dinners!

The answer is 12, but what’s the question? Clue: it’s about school Christmas Dinners!

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There is nothing scary about healthy food

There is nothing scary about healthy food

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Top Banana Topped: Check out our updated (and free) iPhone App

I’d love you to check out our free and newly-updated iPhone App (Top Banana Recipe Cards) if you haven’t already seen it you can do so here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/top-banana-recipe-cards/id390996200?mt=8 The first thing you’ll probably notice is that we’ve designed the App with one main objective in mind – to get kids into the kitchen. Or in […]

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Being there. It’s the key to how fast we can grow.

Being there. It’s the key to how fast we can grow.

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Cucina updates App. Cooking up what kids want

School catering company Cucina has updated its increasingly popular app

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Rewards for Teddington School team; back to the kitchen for me!

Rewards for Teddington School team; back to the kitchen for me!

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School food left behind

School food left behind. What 90% of secondary schools still need to learn.

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Cucina – Inspiring students to give school meals a try

Cucina – Inspiring students to give school meals a try

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A rewarding ride for Teddington School’s catering staff

Senior staff from school catering company Cucina returned to the floor

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A great way to get our daily bread

Not long ago, we signed with an Oxford bakery …

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School lays a yellow-brick road to McDonalds

School lays a yellow-brick road to McDonalds

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Cucina Grows its Own People


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‘Locally sourced’ food: not as straightforward as it seems…

I’m sure you’ve heard about the many benefits of ‘locally sourced’ food ingredients: lower food miles, fresher food, better for the environment, supporting local communities

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Fish and Chips forever

Fish and Chips forever… economising without compromising on taste or value

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Exam Booster Healthy Eating Top Ten Tips from Cucina

Education catering expert Cucina has been providing Top Tips for Exam Success.

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Take your food advice with a pinch of salt

Food advice from so-called experts can be confusing some times, can’t it?

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What music do you think we should play at our Cucina Royal Wedding parties?

I’m delighted to tell you that on Thursday 28 April, Cucina will be hosting Royal Wedding parties at each of its partner schools. All the planning is now done and we’re ready to roll. Well, apart from the music that is – so give us your ideas! Just click on the link below to suggest […]

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The damage we are doing to the parent’s wine fund

Winning back students to school meals is what we do a lot of, so I must admit I became very concerned when I first got wind of the following email from a parent and school governor at Teddington School in Middlesex. But then I read it all the way through – it’s hilarious! Read and […]

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The food crisis is going to get worse. So what can we do?

I don’t think there’s any getting away from the fact that the world has a food crisis on its hands. Or that it’s going to get a whole lot worse very quickly unless we see some radical change. The UK is a predominantly service-led economy and has been for too many years. We now import […]

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Cucina has spring in its step with two new wins

Cucina has won two new contracts and seen weekly sales rocket since opening the new restaurants in January. Shoeburyness High School in Essex and Bexleyheath School in Kent are receiving restaurant quality food delivered by catering expert Cucina. The three year contracts will make fresh food available to the 1,700 pupils at Shoeburyness High School […]

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Healthy family eating? It’s up to the kids, now

“The child is father of the man,” said the famous poet. And I think this quote says it all when it comes to the impact that school food can have – and is starting to have – on modern family life. If you’re about my vintage (give or take!) you’ll remember those classic TV ads […]

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Educational caterer gets royal nod

With preparations afoot for the Royal Wedding, the catering industry is looking forward to finding out who will get to the Top Table this Summer. Staff and students at Arthur Mellows Village School in Peterborough have already been given a Royal nod when Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex opened the final phase of […]

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Silver Medal for Cucina Chef in Culinary World Cup

Education catering expert Cucina Restaurants Ltd. is celebrating with chef Andy Wilcock after a silver medal win for Andy in Europe in the Culinary World Cup. Andy was chosen to represent Britain as he was a semi-finalist in the 2010 National Chef of Year competition. He was asked to represent the Culinary Academy as part […]

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Food for Life catering mark for Cucina at Southfield seals success on school meal take up

Staff and pupils at Southfield School for Girls Specialist Sports College in Kettering, Northants are celebrating the award of a Food for Life bronze catering mark at the school following stringent assessment by the Soil Association. The Soil Association congratulated Cucina Restaurants Ltd. and the school on their award which now allows Cucina to display […]

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Viral email on school meal standards

Staff at Teddington School in Middlesex and the Managing Director of Cucina, the catering specialists at the school, were bemused recently by an email received from a parent and school Governor expressing concern over changes to his children’s eating habits at school. Steve Quinn, Managing Director and Owner of Cucina, said: “Typically I am supporting […]

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How to meet Jamie Oliver’s healthy school eating challenge

One of the things I appreciated most about ‘Jamie’s School Dinners’ when it first appeared on TV, was the fact that it didn’t patronise or talk down to kids. Instead, it proved something I’ve always known – that if you put the right things in place, young people will be motivated to choose good, healthy […]

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Cucina chefs scooping top awards – that’s proof of our pudding!

When our chefs win international food awards it helps make people aware of the high calibre of food that we are serving to 25,000 young people every single school day. It was such a thrill for us to see Cucina head chef Andy Wilcox take silver at the recent Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, an […]

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Probably the luckiest Xmas pudding in the world…

Pupils helped to pack up thousands of lucky golden chocolate coins which will accompany handmade Christmas puddings as seasonal gifts for Cucina’s clients and suppliers this week.

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No Chocolate Brownies left in this Vehicle Overnight

Catering expert Cucina has customized a mini bakery van to deliver fresh food to students at one of its restaurants.

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Students’ Cooking App is Top Banana

The first iPhone® application designed for students to impress parents and friends with their cooking prowess has been launched by catering experts Cucina.

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