MKN recruits school kitchens expert

MKN has hired a chef who started his career at the Savoy and went on to work across the public sector to strengthen its team in the UK.

Mike Carter has been brought on board to specifically help schools prepare for the Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM) initiative due to be rolled out in September.

MKN says he will bring an “experienced chef approach to training” for schools investing in MKN combis to cope with the anticipated increase in in-house meals uptake.

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Carter’s role will involve demonstrating to school caterers how to the get the best out of their combi ovens and use the features to maximise productivity.

“The dynamics of school kitchens are changing and, while school chefs and cooks do a great job, it can be scary stuff learning to adapt to new equipment and methods,” said Carter.

“Some of them aren’t qualified chefs, they might be dinner ladies doubling up as cooks and they need added reassurance. Being a chef myself, I can offer that extra level of empathy.”

The ‘chef-led’ training is currently being delivered to Hampshire County Council Catering Services (HC3S), which serves 45,000 meals a day to 480 primary and secondary schools.

In a rolling programme, HC3S has had 200 MKN combis installed in its schools so far to help prepare for UIFSM.

Carter started his career as an apprentice with the Savoy group, after which he worked in hotels and restaurants around London and in France.

He then went on to work for an events catering firm before joining Baxter & Platts. His school catering experience was then boosted working in UK independent schools sector as chef and mobilisation support for Holroyd Howe Independent contract caterers.

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