Article 26 March 2021

Meet Hannah Baugh, the person behind the exceptional recipes we share each week!

This week we sat down with Hannah Baugh, part of our Catering team within Communities, to find out more about her job as a Nutritionist.

As well as writing the delicious recipes that go out in Recap, Hannah supports Autograph’s education business, which feeds 3 million meals every year to school children between nursery and sixth-form age. She spoke to us about her day-to-day role, her favourite part of her job, and her go to dish!

What’s your role, and what does your job look like on a day-to-day basis?

As a nutritionist, I work mainly with schools, as there’s a lot of legislation that governs what can and can’t be served. My job is to try and make sure the menus are compliant to the legislation. I also do a lot of work with children that have dietary requirements, for example allergies or texture modification requirements.

At the moment I’ve just finished creating the menus for spring and summer. We often plan themed menus to support events that come up throughout the year, like allergen awareness week at the end of April. We’re also developing resources to support classroom teaching – that could be nutrition based, worksheets, or workshops the teachers can deliver themselves.

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Ordinarily I’d go into classrooms and run workshops with the kids or catering teams, and I’d spend time in the kitchen with Ed, our chef.  It’s nice with children when you see a spark of interest in trying new foods that they wouldn’t eat at home. I thrive off of face-to-face, so that was my favourite part of the job, but unfortunately it’s all desk-based at the moment.

The last recipe that went out in Recap was a nettle pesto. How often do you think outside the box and use non-traditional ingredients?

I would do it more if I could! I made some wild garlic pesto recently, because I picked some at the weekend. Unfortunately, in schools, they’re not keen on unusual ingredients.

At the moment we’ve got an initiative called ‘Try Something New’, where we pick three unusual ingredients and recommend simple recipes to school chefs. We’ve picked pomegranate, celeriac and blue stilton, and the aim is to get children more engaged with different foods. We’ve noticed that post-COVID, there’s been a shift in preferences, with children reverting back to more familiar foods that they’re comfortable eating.

How do you pick the Recap recipes?

I tend to pull together a list of themes, whether it’s seasonality or awareness days. We try to align our recipes with those, and I pass them to Chef Ed, who does all the experimenting in the kitchen.

What’s your go-to dish to make?

One thing I cook all the time is a vegan butternut squash sauce. Chef Ed showed us how to make it – you put roasted butternut squash and cashew nuts in a blender, and you can use it as a base for a pasta sauce or a risotto. It’s simple and really tasty, and I make it all the time.