Hugh cooked up a healthy meal plan
Creator of chef clubs inspired children to share passion about benefits of good food
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.”
INSTIGATOR: Hugh MacLennan