Frogs legs, sushi and oysters are all on the menu at St David’s College thanks to a chef who has previously worked in a Michelin star restaurant.
What is plainly obvious to anyone who is lucky enough to walk into the canteen at SDC at meal times, is the pride and passion catering manager Will Jones and his staff put into their jobs.
When Will arrived four years ago, things were a little different-the salad bar lay forlornly and mostly untouched at the side of the canteen, and there was a lot of burger and chips on the menu. The freezers were stuffed with frozen vegetables.
“It was pretty bog-standard food, and I wanted to change things and luckily the kitchen staff were 100% behind me,” said Will, who worked for two years at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel.
The father of two continued: “It was a gamble though when I introduced a Thai noodle salad, beluga wheat salad and couscous to the salad bar.
“I was also told there would be a riot if I got rid of the chicken burger and chips on a Friday, but I won most of the pupils around when I started serving hand cut chips and beer battered haddock instead.”
Now there are queues for the salad bar and fruit bar, and on an average day the school goes through 100 satsumas.
“We now only use fresh vegetables and fruit. The fish comes from a local supplier in Llandudno, so the students are eating mussels and fish caught locally in Conwy or on the Menai Straits, and the meat comes from Harlech,” said the 39-year-old.
“I have put frog’s legs, oysters and sushi on the menu on occasion as I want to educate the pupils through food. I want them to try different things,” said Will.
He has recently introduced a deli sandwich bar, that has gone down a storm with both pupils and staff.
“It’s going to be different every week,” said Will.
“This week I’ve got one called the Rodeo, that’s made up of horseradish potatoes, rocket and pastrami served in a focaccia bread.
“Another one I’ve got on the menu is locally caught crab, served with rocket in a bagel, hopefully they’ll like it.”