Chef swaps Yotam Ottolenghi's Nopi for school catering

26 January 2015 by
Chef swaps Yotam Ottolenghi's Nopi for school catering

Nicole Pisani, a former head chef at Yotam Ottolenghi's Nopi has left her job to work in school catering.

From today, Pisani will be preparing lunch for 500 schoolchildren in a London state primary school on a budget of 92p per child, according to the Guardian.

The move comes after Leon co-founder Henry Dimbleby and architect of the School Food Plan, tweeted that the chef at his sons' school Gayhurst community school in Hackney had left.

He asked if anyone was interested in taking up the job and a friend of Pisani's alerted her to the role, according to the paper.

Pisani, 34, said: "I had an amazing time at Nopi. It was a massive learning experience for me. But after two and a half years I was tired. I wanted a break. It's hard being on your feet for 16 hours a day."

"I want to try and stick to the same menu they have, but cook it better," Pisani said.

On Wednesday, pupils will be served sweet potato and spinach dahl muffin cake, with celeriac and parsnip, smashed beetroot and labneh. On Friday, they will get fresh salmon goujons or cheese and butternut squash quiche, with peashoots, sour cream and corn salsa.

The chef is also hoping that children will eventually eat from proper plates rather than plastic trays and would like the cooks to wear chefs' jackets.

"The kitchen staff are a bit nervous," the executive head teacher, Louise Nichols, told the Guardian. "But they will take it all on. It's fast and furious getting 500 children fed at lunchtime. They are very hard-working."

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