Chef David Carrack left school when he was 15-years-old but has spent the last decade running school kitchens for Red Kite Learning Trust and has never been happier. Red Kite Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust made up of 13 schools in North and West Yorkshire, serving more than 8,000 children and young people and their families from nursery to sixth form.
Following college, David gained experience working across hospitality in hotels, restaurants & bars before an exciting stint at Arc Inspirations. It was here that his skills as a chef came to the fore and where he gained vital experience designing menus and reacting to the latest food trends. David joined Harrogate Grammar School as Executive Chef in 2012 and worked hard to build the school’s culinary reputation, winning Educator Newcomer of the Year Award in 2013 and Educator Self-managed Catering Team of the Year in 2014.
Due to his success, David has spent the last decade being parachuted into various roles at the trust to improve their food and drink offering by helping to reinvigorate school kitchen teams, invest in people and develop team members to become managers and chefs. Presently, David is back at Harrogate Grammar School as Director of Catering and no single day is ever the same.
“My team prepare around 1,800 meals a day, which includes breakfast, break time, lunch, after school, conferences, teacher training and events, so it’s never dull. We make everything from scratch and we have lots of flexibility to tweak menus in order to keep them fresh, maximise the seasons and reduce waste. Like most professional restaurant kitchens, we’ve been measuring and minimising our waste for years. It was the way I was taught as a 15-year-old so we utilise everything we can from an ingredient, whether it’s a cut of meat or the bones and veg peelings for stocks,” he says.
“We use a diverse selection of Country Range products at Harrogate Grammar School and across the Trust’s other schools. Quality and consistency are key, but value is also essential and the Country Range products provide us with all three. I particularly love the Jerk seasoning, dark chocolate drops and Peri Peri sauce. With the kids nowadays enjoying a wide range of international cuisines, this Mexicana Taco recipe has quickly become a big favourite.”