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
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