Wow 2017 already! The back half of 2016 passed at such a pace I was glad to be able to take stock over the festive period of what had happened in my first few months as chair.
December was a little quieter than previous months as people wound down for the break, but I still had a number of appointments and meetings.
I met up with School Chef of the Year Kath Breckon to discuss her dishes for the PS100 Public Sector Showcase that we are supporting at the Hospitality Show on Tuesday 24th of Jan (11am). All the different areas of public sector catering will be working with the same basic ingredients but developing dishes that fit with their areas budget and nutritional requirements, the idea being that we promote the public sector as a great place to work with great people with amazing skills. Do try and come along to support Kath and your other colleagues.
Kath also updated me on a visit to her school from Food for Life’s Jeanette Orrey who was really impressed with her service.
While on the subject of PS100 I was lucky enough to be listed on this year most influential people in public sector catering. We all gathered at the House of Commons on the 13th December to debate key industry issues and then informally chat over things whilst we were served incredible food cooked by Mark Hill, Exec Chef at the House of Commons. Mark’s food is amazing and as a fellow colleague working in the public sector another example of what can be achieved working within our industry.
I took the opportunity whilst at the House of Commons to catch up with MP’s (and big supporters of LACA and school food services) Sharon Hodgson and Ruth Smeethe. We are looking to do some promotion in Ruth’s Stoke constituency as a result.
On December 7th Peter McGrath my past chair attended the Welsh regional meeting our fantastic and committed members. Also in December, I attended the latest School Food Plan Alliance meeting in London where Edward Timpson, Minister of State at the Department for Education - who has responsibility for school food - attended and discussed with us his priorities for the coming year – childhood obesity, school sport and healthy eating.
Finally, best wishes to everyone for a fantastic 2017. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible during the rest of my year as chair.