DIARY: Deano dishes up the dinner fun and games

Time was when school dinners meant soggy toad in the hole, instant mash and sponge pudding, slapped on your plate by someone doing a passable impression of Vera Duckworth.

Time was when school dinners meant soggy toad in the hole, instant mash

and sponge pudding, slapped on your plate by someone doing a passable

impression of Vera Duckworth.



But all that is in the past for the schoolchildren of Cambridgeshire and

Essex whose dinner ladies have now been usurped by a species of large

green lizard.



So it’s goodbye to Mrs Duckworth and hello to Deano, the Local Authority

Caterers Association’s mascot or ‘school meals super hero’ - seen here

with a bunch of his pals taking part in a Pancake Day promotion

sponsored by TG Foods.



Deano, a six foot green pyjama case with an overextended tongue and

questionable table manners, donned his chef’s hat and apron to ‘add

further fun and enjoyment’ to the events which ran in 900 schools

throughout the two counties.



Intrigued, PR Week called the Deano desk at Essex Catering Services,

where catering services manager Susan Stanton revealed Deano’s origins

go back to 1993 and the first national School Meals Week. ‘Each of the

LACA’s regions has at least one Deano costume,’ she tells me.



Is this a trend, I wonder? Paul Richards, press officer for the

Association of County Councils thinks so: ‘Council services face a

competitive market and I think we’re set to see more Deanos in the

future,’ he tells me.



You have been warned.



Edited by Rebecca Dowman



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