Thursday 31st August 2006 00:00
Reformulated potato staples with everything
Some people just don't know when they're beaten. A recent case in point was chip maker McCain, which has written to caterers and head teachers grumbling about the Government's "simplistic" decision to limit deep-fried grub to twice a week. As the rest of the country slowly wakes up to what kids have been putting in their bodies for the past 20 years, McCain wants its "portfolio of low-fat reformulated oven-bakable potato staples" on menus more often. Movingly, it only has the interests of children at heart, although its logic seems a little twisted. It maintains a ban on low-fat chips will only "accelerate the movement of children to fatty take-aways". Hmm, and maybe schools should feed kids fun-size Mars bars to stop them eating the bigger ones.
Bull returns to china shop
As school caterers across the land quiver ahead of Jamie Oliver's follow-up TV show, there are signs that he has softened his tone. His approach, once described as "like a bull in a china shop" by LACA chief Irene Carroll, saw meal uptake plunge by an average of 12%. For his new programme he re-interviewed Tony Sanders, who heads up Compass's Scolarest arm. But it was an altogether cuddlier Jamie that greeted Sanders - perhaps wary that he'd irked a few caterers last time round. Apparently, Jamie was keen to shake his hand and made small talk before the interview. A marked difference from last time, when he swept into the room surrounded by his jealously protective entourage, read out a list of questions and swept out again.
This could be the last time
It's always a heart-warming sight to see a chief executive go back to the floor and get his hands dirty. The latest laudable move to the front line was by Zahid Kasim, boss of Café Lazeez, who mucked in at one of the Indian restaurant group's concession stands at Twickenham last week. But was there an ulterior motive? The date happened to coincide with a Rolling Stones gig. Kasim is a big fan, and it seems neither the grim prospect of serving the public or wild horses would have kept him away.