October 20, 2022
Here at Quinton House, we fully recognise the importance of providing a healthy, nutritionally balanced & delicious meals in order to have fully fuelled minds ready for learning. The food on offer here is so much more than simply ‘food on a plate’.
Chartwells Independent are the educational subsidiary of the largest contract caterers in the world & through their team here headed up by Mrs Dawn McCue, they provide all of the meals for both students & staff, from our Pre-school through to Sixth Form. Mrs McCue has been part of the Quinton family for 18 months now & within that time she has implemented a number of changes to our kitchens, which is her words have “revolutionised the service that we provide”. She has been instrumental in implementing new multifunctional range ovens in both sites as well as updated serving units & equipment. This is something that she is most proud of during her time with us so far.
Dawn heads up a team of 11 staff including 4 chefs & catering assistants with cumulative experience of over 100 years. Each day there is a wide variety of choice on offer including hot meals providing both meat & vegetarian options, homemade soup, jacket potatoes, pasta as well as wraps, sandwiches, baguettes & a rainbow of a salad bar. That’s before we even get on to dessert!! Dawn & her team have also implemented a ‘red healthy heart’ system that highlights all of the goodness on offer that benefits the heart.
One of the main highlights that the students absolutely love are the themed days that Chartwells provide, from Halloween & Diwali to our recent Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer, that saw us all seated outside for Quinton-style street party.
These also run alongside both seasonal & global pop-ups where food from around the world is highlighted & children encouraged to try new tastes, tying in with one of the school’s core values of ‘Global Outlook’. We can all appreciate that it can sometimes be one of life’s challenges to get little ones to try unfamiliar tastes, but to overcome this Dawn has introduced taster pots in our Preparatory School to provide a small sample before diving in for a full portion. It makes for a social time of discovery with their friends & pleasant surprises.
“Mealtime is such an important part of the school day, such a social part & we want them to eat all of the beautiful meals that have been made for them.”
Dawn couldn’t do all that she does without her fantastic team around her including Neil, Head Chef in the Preparatory school & Michelle who oversees our wonderful ‘Food for Thought’ van, based within our Sixth Form village. They all bring a wealth of brilliance & expertise none more so than Gavin, Head Chef at the Senior School, who has previously cooked for David Beckham & the late Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
“We are all very passionate & all on the same wavelength, we all care massively about what we do.”
Everything that is created is always with the students are the heart of their decision making & always with a drive & determination to challenge themselves further. This is furthermore highlighted by the fact that each of the menus is presented by Dawn & Gavin to the school council ahead of final signoff by our Headmaster Mr Muskin. We encourage our students to always have a voice, to feel ‘seen’ & to share a mutual respect with those around us.
“They are our customer, whether they are 2 years old or 18 years old & it’s important that we get it right.”
Mrs Dawn McCue – Catering Manager