School Dinners from Otter!

Normally our restaurant in Ottery is very busy on a Sunday, with 8 chefs, 14 kitchen assistants and 10 waiting staff managing our popular Sunday Roast service. Today two of our chefs were delighted to be back in the kitchen again – this time working on a voluntary basis, although unlike their usual work environment it has been very quiet in the kitchen!  Today…. you could hear a pin drop!

Although the restaurant is closed to customers, our two chefs – Neil & Arron – were kept very busy. The reason?  They have been making 300 school dinners for local schools for the children of key workers, and for delivery to vulnerable children.

We’d learned that one hard working school cook was being asked to cook school meals seven days a week for a fortnight over the Easter period. The schools have stayed open every day to support the children of key workers doing vital jobs to keep us all safe. Additionally, there are a number of vulnerable children who require a meal delivered to them each day.

As we have a large commercial kitchen currently standing empty, we volunteered to help by making and donating the meals so that the school cook can at least have two days off work next week.  When she learned she could have two days off the school cook was over the moon! Before the coronavirus outbreak she was due to be going away holiday over Easter, so not only was she missing her cancelled holiday, she was also expecting to have to be in work every day. We are so pleased to step in and help, and give her a bit of a break.

MD of Otter, Jacqui Taylor, commented that if the situation continues, Otter will be pleased to cook and supply more meals. “Everyone wants to help the NHS teams and all key workers right now. We are thrilled that this is something practical that we can do, and it’s one way we can donate our help whilst we are closed.”

The ‘Otter School Meal Menu’ this week includes:

Roast chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables, home-made chicken pie with mash potatoes and vegetables, and home-made cottage pie with peas and carrots

And for the all-important pudding, a slice of home-made flapjack or shortbread!