Helenswood’s food award

Helenswood catering manager Michael Robinson, with Anthony Worrall Thompson and Rachel Summers, from FreeFrom sponsors Thomas Ridley Foodservice. Picture by Giles Christopher

Helenswood catering manager Michael Robinson, with Anthony Worrall Thompson and Rachel Summers, from FreeFrom sponsors Thomas Ridley Foodservice. Picture by Giles Christopher

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The catering team at a girls’ secondary school in town brought home the bacon last week after winning an award for the best allergy-free school dinners in the country.

Helenswood Academy was presented a FreeFrom Eating Out Award by top chef Anthony Worrall Thompson at an event in London on Tuesday, November 18.

The annual award celebrates quality food that is free from common allergens such as gluten, wheat, dairy, soya or nuts.

The awards use teams of independent judges to assess entries and round winners’ logos are a widely recognised mark of excellence among allergic, coeliac and ‘freefrom’ consumers.

Judges commended Helenswood, which is part of the ARK network of academy schools, for its ‘excellent systems and procedures to provide a caring, safe but exciting eating and drinking experience for all its customers’.

Helenswood’s recipe for success saw the catering team awarded the top gong above competitors including private schools, a Cambridge college, and two universities.

Helenswood catering manager Michael Robinson said: “It’s fantastic to see our hard work pay off - we’ve made a point of being very careful to ensure that our food is safe for allergy sufferers, as well as tasty and healthy.

“Every school in the country has to let students know what allergens are in their food from next month, but we’ve decided to go one step further and make sure there are always allergen-free dishes – like our lentil and aubergine moussaka or pineapple carpaccio with mint sugar.”