Hugh cooked up a healthy meal plan

Cre­ator of chef clubs in­spired chil­dren to share pas­sion about ben­e­fits of good food

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­

A PI­O­NEER­ING chef who helped change school meals in Buck­ing­hamshire for the bet­ter has died.

Trib­utes have flooded in for Hugh MacLen­nan, who died at the end of Oc­to­ber, aged 62.

Mr MacLen­nan was re­spon­si­ble for over­see­ing changes to free school meals, and was ded­i­cated to mak­ing them health­ier for chil­dren.

He started chef clubs, hub kitchens and food projects to get pupils ex­cited about food.

Mr MacLen­nan was born and ed­u­cated in Kenya, be­fore mov­ing to Devon to at­tend col­lege.

In 1971 he trained as a ho­tel man­ager with Trust House Forte.

His brother Alis­tair said: “He worked with all de­part­ments dur­ing his train­ing and when he ar­rived in the kitchens, he found that he had a real tal­ent as a chef and this be­came one of his ma­jor pas­sions in his life.”

Mr MacLen­nan was also a skilled gui­tarist and elec­tronic key­board player.

In the 1970s he ran a se­ries of night­clubs in London, and put to­gether his own band, called Mother Earth Band.

He moved to Canada but re­turned in 1983. After work­ing for ho­tels again for a while, he was ap­pointed as project man­ager for the School Meal Im­prove­ment Pro­gramme at Bucks County Coun­cil.

Mike Ap­p­le­yard, cab­i­net mem­ber for ed­u­ca­tion, said: “It was ob­vi­ous to all who worked with him how pas­sion­ate he was about the ben­e­fits of hot, healthy school lunches for all chil­dren and now, thanks to him, chil­dren in Bucks will be able to en­joy just that for many years to come.”

The chef at Bea­cons­field High School, Roger Han­cock, said: “He was a very en­thu­si­as­tic per­son re­gard­ing chil­dren and get­ting them to eat healthily.

“When I told the girls [he had died], they were sad be­cause he in­spired them.

“His legacy has been giv­ing Bucks’ chil­dren healthy meals, chef clubs and the hubs. Thanks to him chil­dren from three years old to the sixth form are en­thu­si­as­tic about food.”

Paul Jef­freys, who is chef at St Joseph’s School, in Chal­font St Peter, said: “We all looked at him as a team leader. You al­ways felt as if he was on your side.

“It was thanks to Hugh that I be­came a school chef – he phoned me up and asked me.

love it and that’s thanks to him. He gave us the chance to be more than chefs; you feel as if you are part of their ed­u­ca­tion.”


Photo cour­tesy of Bucks County Coun­cil

IN­STI­GA­TOR: Hugh MacLen­nan

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