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Embracing Plant-Based Excellence

St John’s School, Northwood, has shown its commitment to providing healthy choices in school lunch menus by successfully completing a comprehensive plant-based training program.

Maz training St Johns school

This training, aimed at enhancing catering services, was conducted by expert tutors from the Vegetarian Society Cookery School.

In late 2023, Maz and Nikita from the Vegetarian Society Cookery School team had the pleasure of visiting St John’s, an Independent Day School for Boys aged 3-13 in Northwood, Middlesex. The school, already proud of its dedication to healthy lunch options, sought specialised vegetarian and vegan training for its catering team.

Cara Demetriades, the Bursar at St John’s, shared her insights on the experience: “When looking for vegetarian-specific training suitable for a school catering team, the Vegetarian Society Cookery School seemed to fit our needs perfectly,” said Demetriades. Describing the day as exceptional, she noted the positive experience for the team, many of whom were initially sceptical about the training.”

The highlight of the training, according to the Bursar, was the trainers’ skill in engaging every staff member, even those initially resistant to vegetarian and vegan options. “There was a fantastic energy and positivity to the training. Staff also really enjoyed trying the dishes,” she added.

Cara also gave an insight into the immediate wins from the training: “We have implemented a number of the dishes the team were taught in our menu cycle this term, staff are really enjoying them and we are encouraging the children to give these new options a try.  I also felt the training helped to establish a stronger sense of team.” The next step for St. John’s is to involve pupils in finding ways to encourage more boys to explore the new plant-based options.

Sam Linford-Platt, Head of the Vegetarian Society Cookery School said: “It’s great to hear about how the training has made a real difference to St Johns and that they’ve already been able to implement new activity in their menu planning and catering. For any school catering team who want to increase their vegetarian and vegan options and are not sure where to start, we can show you how to deliver suitable vegetarian and vegan options with our School Catering Training. We work with schools and councils across the country, teaching catering staff how to make sustainable plant-based food.”

“As part of the training, we will provide you with a full year’s (three terms) worth of recipe packs, costed for school budgets. These meals have been created by award-winning school chefs, Tony Mulgrew and Lyndon McLeod, and are designed for bulk cooking in canteens. Plus, they’re carbon-calculated, so your school can show it’s doing its bit for the planet too.”

The Vegetarian Society Cookery School works with restaurants, hospitals and schools across the UK to enhance their vegetarian and vegan offerings. To find out more visit https://vegsoc.org/schoolcateringtraining


Notes to editors

For media enquiries please contact Su via press@vegsoc.org


Vegetarian Society Cookery School Training Highlights

Cost-effective Recipes: Learn to cook affordable plant-based recipes, catering to varying student dietary needs, while saving time and money.

Professional Cookery Skills: Upskill on professional vegetarian and vegan cookery, creating delicious meals students will love.

Nutritional Expertise: Discover how to build protein into veggie and vegan dishes, offering healthy options filled with protein, fruit, and vegetables.

Ready-to-Implement Recipes: Receive three terms’ worth of ready-to-implement recipes, crafted by award-winning school chefs, and carbon-calculated to meet eco targets.

Our flexible training can be tailored to suit your school’s specific requirements. Join us in embracing plant-based excellence in school catering!


St John’s school

St John’s is a thriving, Independent Prep School for boys aged 3-13. Set in a magnificent thirty-five acre estate overlooking London, the School is a wonderful community where aspirational boys enjoy learning and form joyful memories to last a lifetime.

For further information please contact admissions@st-johns.org.uk



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