Principals by CH&CO
A little bit of information about Principals by CH&CO – creating exciting food experiences at Pirbright Village Primary School
- Principals by CH&CO creates interactive, exciting food experiences in schools that make good food fun and nourish the growing bodies and inquisitive minds of children. Eating well is an important life skill and one that every child has a right to learn. Our flexible menus celebrate diversity and encourage children to eat nutritious dishes in uplifting, social surroundings that promote health, happiness and wellbeing. We celebrate good food and give children the opportunity and confidence to see, smell, taste, feel and learn about different cuisines and ingredients. Our fresh food policy means we always cook from scratch using seasonal ingredients that are locally sourced, wherever possible
Responsibly sourced ingredients
- We know exactly where our food comes from. And we always have. We cook the best produce in our kitchens. Working collaboratively with farmers and specialist local suppliers, the quality of raw ingredients found in our kitchens is second to none. Our partnerships with local farmers can span two or more generations. For example, we help pick our Gala apples and Comice pears at Court Lodge farm in Lenham; in Orpington, we work with Watts Farm to grow our own vegetables and salad – from spinach and green kale to cauliflower, squash, chillies and herbs; succulent strawberries come direct from Way Street Farms in Canterbury; and for fun, we forage for wild produce with the legendary Miles Irving at Deanery Farm in Chartham. The provenance of the ingredients we use is important to us and we’re in direct contact with our farmers and butchers. Our butchers source meat from farmers certified by Red Tractor and RSPCA Freedom Foods, our vegetable growers hold the LEAF Marque, our fishmongers source their catch from sustainable supplies and as a gold member of the Marine Conservations Society we only serve fish from their Good Fish Guide, and we use only free range eggs as standard.
Beyond the plate; supporting our communities
We pride ourselves on being more than a school caterer. We’re part of the school community and our support goes beyond the dining room.
- After School Club – We keep Pirbright’s pupils fuelled after the school bell has rung. We create bespoke menus for the After School Club, including a salad bar, main course and pudding bar.
- School gardens – We champion school gardens that inspire children as they follow the life of food from seed to the kitchen and plate.
- Family cooking – We want every family to experience the joy of cooking at home. We regularly engage with parents, guardians and pupils and our cookery classes prove it’s never too late to learn how to cook healthy, sustainable meals for all the family.
- Careers weeks – We jumped at the chance to get involved in The Galaxy Trust’s careers week in North Kent. Chef Neil and other members of the team talked to pupils about food, farming and cooking and the great opportunities careers in the food industry offer. They loved getting stuck into pasta making and mixing up their own drinks on our smoothie bike. At the end of the week, we were thrilled to hear that some of them want to be top chefs when they grow up!
- Young Cooks – We’re proud to sponsor Young Cooks, an annual masterchef-style event that’s inspiring children, aged 6-19, to get creative in the kitchen. The initiative helps young people develop the skills and confidence to prepare meals to a budget and raises awareness of nutrition and locally grown produce. We were also thrilled to receive a KM partnership award in recognition of our support!
- Real Gima FC – Come on you reds! Our logo is emblazoned across the chests of Real Gima FC’s players, from children to adults. Based in Northfleet, the football club’s goal is to give all children of all abilities, the chance to play the beautiful game. We’re proud to support grass-roots football and follow their progress closely.
The bigger picture (CH&CO)
- We are part of CH&CO. The well-known, independent catering company that creates uplifting hospitality experiences across many locations, including workplaces, destinations, healthcare, education, venues and events. It’s known for its quality food and service and commitment to health and wellbeing, sustainability and its people. CH&CO also holds a Royal Warrant for catering services to Her Majesty The Queen. Principals joined the CH&CO family in 2017, giving our schools an abundance of expertise and support, from chefs and nutritionists to procurement and marketing, and our people the opportunity to benefit from excellent training and development opportunities to be the very best at what they do.
- The planet matters to us and we take a long-term approach to operating in a socially responsible, sustainable way. The actions we take today have consequences for our children and grandchildren’s future on this wonderful planet.
- CH&CO is the largest and most diverse contract caterer to be awarded the top-level three-star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), which is regarded by some as the Michelin stars of the sustainability world. We’re proud to serve great quality food that doesn’t cost the earth.
- The sustainable business rating is based on ten key areas that consider society, sourcing and environmental practices: Celebrate Local & Seasonal; Serve More Veg & Better Meat; Source Fish Responsibly; Support Global Farmers; Treat Staff Fairly; Support the Community; Feed People Well; Value Natural Resources; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; and Waste No Food.