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. This was a fantastic day and an ideal way to begin the process of developing our own street food range. But why, with such a successful industry-leading school food service, would we be wanting to be doing this?

Lots of reasons, actually, not the least of which is education. We’ve come a long way from the old days of teaching, where kids were force fed dry-as-dust information from dull textbooks. Most teachers today appreciate that meaningful education happens when students have their senses and their emotions fully engaged.

When you take a stroll through any street food plaza you see vendors with vast knowledge and love of their own type of food, all competing against each other to bring the best, most visually and aromatically appealing food experience to passers-by. They know their offering has to be good, or the ever-more discerning eating public will ensure they don’t survive long.

Stop at one of the stands and you’ll invariably see real theatre, with preparation and service as part of total food experience. The colours, the aromas, the buzz – it’s just a vibrant celebration of the very best fare from around the globe. So what could be better than bringing this kind of sensory experience to our customers at school?

Many schools and academies now talk about educating for the real world, and that’s exactly what street food is. The food is simple but excellent and there’s a really cool vibe about it. Our educational objective in developing a street food range is to help nurture a real love of all the great food traditions the world offers.

It’s also great to have Ash Mair –  one of this country’s finest creative food talents – working alongside us in the development process. A few years ago, Ash amazed the Pro Masterchef judges – and all of us – with his creations, and he ended up carrying off the big prize. He has already come up with some brilliant ideas which we’re sure the students and teachers are going to love.

So that’s a little bit of ‘the word on the street’ from Cucina. In future posts I look forward to telling you about some more great things we have on the go.

Till next time then,



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