The Jack in The Green inspire local school

Matthew Mason has been the Head Chef of the Jack in the Green for 18 years. When not chopping, stirring, roasting and innovating, Matthew has spent a great deal of his own time forging relationships with many of the neighboring farmers, producers and growers that surround the award winning dining pub.

Against the backdrop of headlines signaling new trends in childhood obesity, Matthew was delighted to embark upon an exciting relationship in 2007 between the Jack and West Hill Primary School. Together with Paul, Matthew will be working closely with the Head Teacher Sue Nield, as well as the Science Subject Leader, Sue Bedford, in what is an ongoing and very proactive partnership.Matthew, like any caring father, is keen to ensure his son is getting all the nutrients he needs.

The age range of West Hill’s pupils (4-11 years) makes them a very receptive audience in what is already a proactive school in their attitude to healthy living. Matthew’s own childhood experiences will undoubtedly help to shape the nature of some of the activities, especially as Charlie is now in his first year at West Hill “When I was young there was something very comforting about my mum’s home cooking. I hope that with the right nurturing education and encouragement our children can also grow up with the same feelings of comfort and satisfaction that surrounded my childhood.”

For professional chefs working to tight schedules a recipe that consists merely of a set of instructions may be adequate but children who are still learning about food deserve more. Children need to understand the reasons behind what they are doing. One clear message that cannot be understated is that the best food is always prepared using only the best ingredients. Matthew’s overriding aim for this project is to transpose as much of his passion as is humanly possible to enthuse the children so that they find learning about food fun.

Ongoing visits to a number of farms, producers and to The Jack in the Green will ensure that they see and experience where all their food comes from. Food miles, freshness, seasonality and experimenting with ingredients will underpin everything that is done.

West Hill Primary School from Ross Hayward on Vimeo.