Artisan caterer and Southfield School for Girls earn gold

Pioneering 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 reassurance to customers that all meals at the school are freshly prepared using environmentally sustainable and seasonal ingredients, free from undesirable additives and trans fats, and which are better for animal welfare and compliant with national nutrition standards.

Congratulating Cucina on the award, Southfield School for Girls headteacher Julie Goswell said: “We work in partnership with Cucina because of the excellent quality of food that they provide for our staff and students. I am delighted to hear that the Food for Life Catering Mark endorses the fact that the food at Southfield School is made from fresh ingredients, is free from trans fats, harmful additives and GM, and is better for animal welfare. Congratulations to Cucina; this award demonstrates their continued desire to be the very best in school catering.”

Sam Davies, Director of Food at Cucina Restaurants, said: “We are very pleased to receive an endorsement from the Soil Association in the form of this award. Because food has always been at the centre of our business model, we have continued to push standards ever higher, preparing our very wide range of dishes at each site from fresh, locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. We’re also proud of the fact that we operate restaurants rather than canteens, presenting students and staff with more than 40 food choices daily. “

Rich Watts, the Soil Association’s Senior Catering Mark Manager, said: “By achieving a Gold Catering Mark, Cucina Restaurants is displaying its dedication to improving the food served within schools across the country. Serving food that is both good for us and good for our planet is incredibly important and nowhere more so than in schools where positive eating habits and diets can be formed for life.

“I look forward to hearing more in the coming year about how both staff and pupils have responded positively to the award and their new ethical, sustainable and School Food Standards-based meals. Congratulations and thank you to all of the team for their work to achieve the Gold Catering Mark.”

Founded in 2005, Cucina Restaurants was one of the first UK school caterer to employ high calibre restaurant and hotel chefs to provide a full restaurant service in state secondary schools.