City school's hunt for new chef gets just two applicants in four months

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef Students at Lakenham Primary with empty pla

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

A city school which grows its own fruit and veg is on the hunt for a new chef to help turn them into tasty and nutritious meals for its pupils.

Since its last catering contract finished at around the end of the last Covid lockdown, Lakenham Primary School has been providing school meals 'in house'.

It uses local providers for much of its produce and the rest it grows in its own allotments and polytunnels, meaning children can get involved in growing the food and seeing it go from the earth to their plates.

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef Students at Lakenham Primary with empty pla

Sad Lakenham Primary pupils with empty plates hoping to find a new school chef Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Up until earlier this year, the school had its own chef who designed the menu and helped children learn all about their ingredients.

But she has since left and the school has been struggling to find an adequate replacement.

Four months of searching has produced just two applicants for the school - one of who did not accept the job and the other who didn't turn up for the interview.

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef. Headteacher, Cassandra Williams. Pictures:

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef. Headteacher, Cassandra Williams. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Brittany Woodman

Cassandra Williams, headteacher at Lakenham said: "Our last chef was just fantastic, but she had an offer she couldn't refuse so decided to leave.

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"If we don't find somebody to replace her we may have to go back to outsourcing our catering, which we really do not want to do as we will have less control over the quality of meals our children get.

"It is so important that children are getting nutritious, filling meals as without them they wouldn't be able to concentrate properly and it would really affect their learning."

The successful candidate would be required to manage the school's kitchen staff, design its menu and think creatively about how the produce the school grows - from carrots and peas to pumpkins and swedes - can be used in meals and in learning.

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef Students at Lakenham Primary with headteach

Lakenham Primary is desperately searching for a new chef. Pupils at Lakenham Primary with headteacher Cassandra Williams. Pictures: Brittany Woodman

Mrs Williams added: "We need a chef who can look at things seasonally so we can make sure children aren't eating the same things all the time.

"We have been advertising since February but have just had no luck.

"We don't necessarily need somebody with school dinner experience - our last chef used to run a pub - we just need somebody who knows their food and will be able to think outside the box."