Sodexo has signed up celebrity chef James Tanner to its independent schools business, Independents by Sodexo, as an ambassador for its ‘fresh food from scratch’ ethos.

Independents by Sodexo is renowned for the seasonality, provenance and freshness of its menus. James, who owns four restaurants in Plymouth and the south of England with his brother Chris, and has appeared on TV shows including Ready, Steady, Cook, ITV Breakfast and Lorraine, will be on hand to share his expertise with Sodexo’s chefs, advise on sustainable sourcing and to visit schools for live food demonstrations and events.

One of the first projects that James is working on with Sodexo is a sustainable fish initiative. Inspired by James’ relationship with his fish suppliers in Looe, Cornwall, who catch mixed species daily, resulting in no waste and no damage to the ocean, Sodexo will use its own fish supplier Direct Seafood to create ‘catch of the day’ specials. James will also put together signature seasonal fish recipes using species caught off Looe for school chefs to follow.

Jeremy Alderton, Managing Director, Independents by Sodexo said; “We’re really excited to have James on board. He shares our passion for sustainably-sourced, seasonal food, and will help us deliver ever more innovative and exciting menus to our 70-plus schools.”

James Tanner said; “Independents by Sodexo has a great ethos and I’ve been impressed by the team’s commitment to educating students on the benefits of eating healthily and sustainably. I am looking forward to working with executive chef Tom Allen and his fantastic team, as well as working with students to get them excited about food and cooking.”

Independents by Sodexo has had a successful couple of years, winning a five-year contract at Wycombe Abbey school, a seven-year contract at the Licensed Victuallers School (LVS) in Begbroke, Oxfordfordshire, a five year contract with The Lady Eleanor Holles School in Hampton, Middlesex and, most recently, a three-year contract with Brentwood School in Essex. In November 2014 Sodexo became the first caterer to supply pork and eggs from Freedom Foods suppliers – where welfare standards are set by the RSPCA – to all its independent schools.

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