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EDUCatering excellence awards for Harrogate Grammar

Dave Carrack, Executive Chef at Harrogate Grammar School and his team win ‘Self-Managed Secondary School Caterer of the Year’ at the prestigious national EDUcatering Excellence Awards in London.

The awards are always a very special evening, recognising the hard work and dedication of their peers across the industry. This is the second prize the catering team have won in consecutive years, last year saw ‘Newcomer of the Year’ being awarded to Dave Carrack.

On winning the award Dave said: Winning this award means so much to me and my team! We strive to provide a healthy nutritious food offering that is second none.

I push myself and my team to deliver and achieve fantastic service, products and quality and we never settle for second best.

We have had an amazing year and winning this award has just capped it all.

Dave’s passion and enthusiasm is driving his objective for catering at Harrogate Grammar School to be the best in the country.

Two years ago Dave inherited a team of 20 staff from the Local Authority and has worked hard to allow individuals to grow and take on new roles and responsibilities. A true “foodie”, he inspires team members with his hands-on approach and delights in training the other members of the team. The introduction of the Living Wage for catering staff has been very well received and is part of Dave’s strategy to recruit and retain the very best staff.

Since Dave’s arrival, he has led on the design of a brand new catering space dedicated to a bespoke Sixth Form catering provision and has expanded and re-ordered the main kitchen in the summer of 2013, an investment which has helped to equip the facilities to match the growth in demand.

Dave has worked hard to develop an exciting food offer, and the frequency of food deliveries has increased significantly with Dave’s insistence on quality fresh food from local suppliers. Due to increasing demand a third hot servery has been introduced as well as several new outlets around the school including a Lunchbox service, a salad bar, a new outside catering kiosk, an online sandwich shop with students able to order via their iPads, fully biometric vending machines, and a new servery in the staffroom offering pre-ordered meals.

Once a month there is a cooked breakfast offered and staff takeaways have been popular with Sunday lunches recently added. Dave’s latest venture is to sell fresh meat and vegetable boxes to staff who appreciate the quality and freshness he can offer at good value prices.

As a Teaching School a large number of courses and events are hosted and the catering is second to none, as shown by evaluation feedback. “Wonderful food – it’s more like a hotel than a school!”

Whether it’s a large buffet for 200+ or a special fine-dining meal for a smaller group, food is generously served with pride and the catering team have taken on an increasing number of functions in the evenings and at weekends.

Richard Sheriff, Headteacher said: We are incredibly proud of our catering team under the leadership of Chef Dave Carrack, as well as delivering wonderful food every day they have also now delivered two national awards for the quality of their food and service.

The quality of their food is greatly appreciated by all at the school and also by all those people who we welcome to the school as part of our work as a teaching School.

As a school we want to deliver excellence for all and our catering team certainly lead by example!

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