Video: Students tuck into roast dinner for world record bid

ROAST dinner was a special treat for Suffolk students as their school took part in a world record attempt.

A total of 380 students at Thurston Community College, near Bury St Edmunds, tucked into roast beef and vegetables as they tried to beat the existing Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous roast dinner, currently standing at 1,362 people – at numerous sites.

There is also a chance a new world record may have been created for the most schools to serve the same dinner on the same day. The college is awaiting verification of the outcomes.

The Roast Dinner Day, on Wednesday, was organised by the Food for Life Partnership, which is a network of schools and communities across the country which are committed to transforming food culture.

Lynden Taylor, who teaches GSCE catering at Thurston Community College, said it had been “exciting” to be part of a world record attempt.

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Speaking on the day, she said: “It’s been very frantic in the kitchen this morning. A lot of preparation went into it. We harvested the pumpkins and carrots from our allotment – that was a real highlight.”

Steve Small, catering manager, said his team, who on average produce about 800 meals a day, were trying to push the roast dinner option – a snip at �2 a serving.

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“It’s trying to encourage children to eat healthier and home-grown produce,” he said. “The beef is all Red Tractor beef – it’s all sourced in the UK.”

As well as the beef option for the roast, there were also courgette sausages with a spicy pumpkin sauce to cater for vegetarians.

Restaurateur Carla Carlisle, who runs the Leaping Hare Vineyard Restaurant at Stanton, said she was “absolutely astonished” at how delicious the meal was.

She said: “The pumpkin wasn’t overcooked so I thought that was great and the beef was tender and full of flavour. The horseradish sauce was delicious. I wouldn’t be unhappy if I had this in my restaurant.”

She added: “I think Jamie Oliver would have thought he had died and gone to heaven.”

Parent Sara Cattanach, 42, from Norton, said it was “not like school dinners I remember” and student Harriet Melvin-Bland, 16, said it was “really good”.

Mrs Taylor, a Food for Life co-ordinator, said there was also a takeaway option for the roast for students in a rush.

She said they was really trying to get the healthy-eating ethos embedded in the culture of the school.

“It’s wonderful,” she said.

For information on the Food for Life Partnership, visit www.foodforlife.

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