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Leeds Club Kitchen on how to take the healthier option for your office meetings

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 May 2016 | UPDATED: 09:18 03 May 2016

Lightly grilled fruit to finish

Lightly grilled fruit to finish

not Archant

There are healthier food choices to see you through a working day, as Esther Leach discovers

Chef Craig England adds the finishing touches to beefburger in a lettuce wrap Chef Craig England adds the finishing touches to beefburger in a lettuce wrap

Another office meeting and another round of really not very appetizing sandwiches with a few bags of crisps and a vegetarian option that isn’t anything you can immediately recognize as food. ‘If you want to put your people to sleep at an office meeting feed them curled up sandwiches and crisps but if you want them bright-eyed and bushy-tailed serve them something that’s nourishing,’ says Sarah-Louise Walker, a champion of dining at your desk, the healthy way.

She’s argued in favour of investing more in providing healthy food at the office (and not just at board level) for years but now, as someone leading an innovative catering company, Sarah-Louise can actually do something about it. ‘This has been at the back of my mind for at least 10 years. Why shouldn’t a regular office meeting include food that is actually good for you?’ And she is not talking about five-star dining. Not necessary says, Sarah-Louise, so long as the food is nourishing and contributes to a healthy daily diet.

‘Lunch for an office meeting usually means a few sandwich triangles, a bowl of crisps, some sort of wrap as a vegetarian option, probably some fruit and slices of cake, that’s fine if you want your people to fall asleep in your meeting.’ And it probably won’t do much to impress guests attending the meeting either.

Baked salmon, guacamole and char-grilled lime wedge Baked salmon, guacamole and char-grilled lime wedge

‘I am serving food that is in season and locally produced that goes beyond the traditional sandwich and is new and exciting,’ says Sarah-Louise, who heads up the Leeds Club Kitchen, a catering business offering healthy dining at your desk using seasonal ingredients. It’s a sister company to the Leeds Club, a Grade II listed former men’s club and now a city centre events venue.

She keeps in mind too, that many people have become sensitive to foods that contain dairy and wheat and would rather go without lunch (or bring their own from home) if there wasn’t a free-from option on the table.

‘People today are far more interested in their diet and what is in their food. Allergies seem to be far more common and it’s essential we take this into consideration when we put our menus together,’ added Sarah-Louise.

She and head chef Craig England, who has 15 years experience, including catering for television production companies, like to work closely with clients to ensure menus are not only tasty but healthy. ‘Craig has worked with actors who are very often diet conscious so has lots of creative ideas.’ Among them is beef burger in a lettuce wrap with salsa and sweet potato wedges, baked salmon, and guacamole with char-grilled lemon as well as chickpea curry with spinach.

But a glance at a business breakfast menu though and it’s difficult to ignore the not-so healthy sausage, bacon and egg sandwiches. ‘The sausages are grilled and there is a choice of poached eggs,’ explains Sarah-Louise. The breakfast breads including seeded brown loaf and sourdough and the hot sandwich white and brown baps are baked by Craig. There is a choice of delicious sounding breakfast hot pots including a veggie omelette with spinach, cherry tomato and gruyere cheese. The choice is yours.

Find out more at leedsclub.com





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