When most kids trudge to school, the food is about the least exciting part of what’s to come. Almost every adult has horror stories of generic grey gloop, suspiciously coloured chicken nuggets and baffling mystery meats. No wonder we would rather pretend to be ill.
Though we might think crap food is an essential part of the school experience, it turns out that there are alternatives. In what will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, the poshest people on the planet don’t have to put up with weird stews and gristly burgers. For them, only the finest will do. With menus that wouldn’t look out of place in a Parisian brasserie, these are the six most outrageous school dinners on earth.
1. Bruern Abbey
For the privileged, good food starts from the get-go. No one takes this more seriously than the illustrious Bruern Abbey in England. Menu highlights here include duck breast and red cabbage, followed by fresh mango roulade. There are also bi-weekly candlelit dinners for children and their parents, as well as cooking classes that include lessons on pheasant plucking and crayfish cookery.
2. Ross School
Having apparently learned lessons from films about tough inner city schools, New York bigwigs decided that their offspring would need something completely different. Free from metal detectors and any sense of reality, East Hampton’s Ross School would be heaven for any foodie. A team of chefs work tirelessly to come up with new menu items and constantly run new promotions such as “meatless Monday” and “tasty Tuesday” to keep their charges entertained.
3. Eton College
You don’t get to educate generations of posh people without feeding them well. Having seen former prime ministers, famous actors and members of the royal family walk through its doors, Eton have had plenty of practise serving up sensational grub. Peri peri chicken, fresh fig and goat’s cheese salad and Sunday roast dinners are all regular fixtures on an ever changing menu, carefully curated by an army of highly trained chefs.
4. Calhoun School
With a kitchen run by the hilariously named French Culinary Institute member “chef Bobo” this New York private school is committed to cooking excellence. Their “Eat Right Now” programme requires that 10-day menus by submitted a week in advance, with each set of options containing 40 percent chicken, 20 percent red meat, 20 percent fish and 20 percent vegetarian. A fully stocked salad bar comes complete with homemade dressings and vinaigrettes, and almost all dietary requirements, however obscure, are catered for.
5. Le Rosey
When you go to the most expensive school in the world you can expect certain privileges in the dining room. Students at Le Rosey start the day with a lavish breakfast buffet from 0700, before enjoying a mid-morning snack of Swiss hot chocolate, before a formal lunch at 1230. The final meal of the day is eaten in dinner jackets, cooked by some of the best chefs in Switzerland and served by members of the student body. With bread freshly baked on demand and a well stocked wine cellar for older students, it almost seems worth the $133,000 annual fee,
6. Edible NOLA schools
Good school food doesn’t have to be reserved for the ridiculously rich. In New Orleans, where food is an absolutely essential part of everyday life, several state schools have banded together to create the Edible NOLA programme, which allows school children to plant, harvest and eat their own produce. Examples of awesome dishes delivered by this amazing initiative include sweet potato souffle, watermelon, feta and mint salad and Mexican chopped salad.
In most cases, tasty school dinners seem to be only available to those who can afford it. But, as programmes like Edible NOLA prove, there is hope for everyone who has to put up with school lunches. Maybe soon, we can finally say goodbye to dodgy dinners for good.