Food for life catering gold

It’s great that we can depend on so many teams across campus; from our award-winning chefs to our AV Technicians, car-park attendants and IT support who all play a part in bringing together great events at the University.

PrintWe’ve just heard that our chefs, from Great Food at Leeds, have been awarded the Gold Standard Catering Mark by the Soil Association for a menu that’s been put together for the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) conference.

The menu, which covers a Gala Dinner and a number of finger buffets, was rewarded for every percentage point of their ingredients spent on ethical and environmentally friendly food, locally sourced ingredients and steps to offer healthier menus.

On top of all that it’s a tasty looking menu too!  Here’s a sneak peek of the Gala Dinner menu:


Approved Gala Menu for EAUC

Swaledale Goats Cheese Panacotta with Organic Beetroot Salad – (Cheese from Swaledale, Cream from Scarcroft, Leeds, Organically Grown Beetroot)

Organic Free Range Chicken with Locally Sourced Leeks and Tarragon Risotto Cakes – (Organic Chicken, Leeks from Jack Buck Growers)

Savoy Cabbage and Wild Mushroom Strudel with Celeriac Cream (v) – (Seasonally Grown Cabbage, Mushrooms. Celeriac from Jack Buck Growers)

Seasonal Vegetables – (Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Carrots from Posketts Farm, Goole. Potatoes from Jackson Farm, Ryhter)

Roasted Rhubarb, Yorkshire Parkin and Fairtrade Vanilla Ice Cream – (Rhubarb from Procter & Sons, Farsley. Cream from Scarcroft)


If you’re interested in our chefs creating a bespoke menu for your event then speak to our team and we’d be happy to help!


Open Road


MEETinLEEDS are showing their support for Le Tour Yorkshire by cycling the entire Leeds to Harrogate stage of the Tour de France 2014, using spinning bicycles at the Edge Sports Facility, less than a mile from the start line of the Grand Depart!

Tour-De-France-2014-InfographicAlong with our colleagues at the Edge, (all conference delegates and MEETinLEEDS residents at Storm Jameson Court get free access to the facilities at the Edge, remember!) and Great Food at Leeds, who provide catering for our conferences and events, the 20 riders will each complete 9.5km to take us the 190km distance to the finish line. We will calculate the total time it takes us and then compare with how the professionals fare on the 5th July!

Our “Team Leeds”, ranging from novices to spin class teachers, will be travelling in pairs to instigate a bit of healthy competition. Hopefully, the event will give even more people the cycling bug and add to the ever growing cycling community at the University of Leeds.

Do you think we have what it takes to beat Froome, Wiggins, Boardman and co over the finish line? Subscribe to our blog now and receive the results next week!


For more information about the Tour de France you can visit our dedicated webpage here.

Summer Tart

The common idiom states that an army marches on its stomach, but if Napoleon were to swap his bicorn hat for that donned by an Event Manager (which would be a hard hat in the shape of a Deerstalker- a thinking cap protecting from vertically descending objects), he may have said that a conference delegates to its stomach: the success of a conference is heavily influenced by standards of the catering.  MEETinLEEDS is acutely aware of this and through our partnership with Great Food at Leeds and the delivered catering arm of their business, Deli(very), provide cuisine which is of the highest possible standards from our team of award-winning chefs.

As they strive towards culinary perfection they are always thinking of ways to innovate the menu to improve the offer and consider the feedback of the customers. This has led to being shortlisted for ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ at the Cost Sector Catering Awards and the Catey’s.

Kevin and Simon- Chefs Extraordinaire!

Kevin and Simon- Chefs Extraordinaire!

After speaking to Team Head Chef Simon Wood, Chef Kevin Rogers, and the Deli(very) Booking Team (Lyn Hubbard, Ann Keating and Rosie Devonshire) it is obvious that the new additions to the menu and the improved online booking system have not only gone down well with the customers, but also with the team.

Simon has worked in the kitchen for 18 years and “loads of hotels and restaurants” in the past. His wealth of experience has been vital in the changes to Deli(very) and he continues to innovate in the kitchen.

“The whole of the “Taste of Summer” menu is homemade, using seasonal, fresh, local ingredients. This is the major change I have seen in my 18 years at the University. In the past we might have used a lot of pre-packed frozen goods, now we have fresh deliveries every day from our local suppliers”

“The standard of the suppliers has also been raised: it is a badge of honour to supply to the University, and our high standards of quality control will keep it that way.”

Kevin, who has worked in the kitchen for 28 years, has the same uncompromising attitude towards quality.

“You get more job satisfaction the more varied the work and the higher the standard of product. Making a good summer tart from fresh, beats taking things out of the freezer and putting them in the oven.”

Lyn, who has worked in the coffee bars before relocating to the Deli(very) bookings team, says a major success of the rebrand is that “…it has made the process more organised; everyone knows the standards and what is expected; from the bookings team, to the kitchen, to the delivery crew”.

(L-R) Lyn, Rosie and Ann- The Deli(very) booking team

(L-R) Lyn, Rosie and Ann- The Deli(very) booking team

Rosie, the newest addition to the bookings team, recently completed a degree in a notable northern University.

“The catering was nothing like what we currently serve. Lecturers would order for us at the end of terms and it wouldn’t look anything like this” she says, pointing to the lunch in front of her, ready to be delivered.

If you need any help choosing from the Deli(very) menu the staff are more than happy to guide you in your search for the perfect banquet. Ann has a couple of top tips for you right now:

“The Taste of Summer is a balanced menu with meat, fish and vegetarian options, which can be accompanied by the Vegetable Crudités for a summer crunch. Finish off with a Fresh Fruit and Cheese Platter and you have the perfect (indoor) picnic.”


If you would like to know more about delivered catering at the University of Leeds please contact the below:



Telephone: 0113 343 3682

Here at MEETinLEEDS our goal is to provide a conference and events service that doesn’t compromise our commitment to a sustainable University, as outlined in the Sustainability Strategy.

There are two areas that we have a direct impact on: the accommodation we offer for Residential Conferences and our partnership with Great Food at Leeds for the catering at events around the campus.

Lollo Rosso being harvested locally for our salad

Lollo Rosso being harvested locally for our salad

Our services blend the Living It Green campaign of Residential Services with the Great Food at Leeds policy of procuring ethical and sustainable food; with 65% of our suppliers being within 40 miles of the University (the bread served at the Refectory is baked by Fosters, which is a stone’s throw from where I grew up. The smell of freshly baked ice fingers sends me on a trip down memory lane akin to that described by Marcel Proust in Remembrance of Things Past). If you don’t think that this is very impressive, have a look at the origin of the items you fill your shopping basket with the next time you are at the super market: cucumber and rocket from Spain; tomatoes from Morocco; broccoli from Italy; lamb from New Zealand; the list is endless. The number of miles your food travels from origin to your mouth can be compared to that of the tennis balls used at Wimbledon (which were formerly made in my home town, not that I am trying to plug the fine place that is Barnsley!). Our support of, and reliance on, the local community and suppliers is just one of the many aspects that set us apart from the competition.

Both Residential Services and Commercial Services have signed up to membership of the internationally recognised Green Tourism Business Scheme. We currently have 10 service locations registered with the scheme, with 5 of our operational locations subject to an annual environmental audit.

All of our locations have been awarded either a Gold or Silver standard, which demonstrates our understanding of the importance of sustainable development and that the strategies and measures we have in place to guide our performance have us well on the way to becoming a Sustainable University.

If you are interested in planning a conference or event with strong environmental content MEETinLEEDS can offer the following:


Thanks to Mike Leonard, Property Manager, Residential Services, at the University of Leeds who provided the information for this article.

Summer Tart


Last year the MEETinLEEDS team worked with Great Food at Leeds, the University’s catering service, to launch a new delivered catering service – Deli(very).

This week we’re pleased to announce the launch of their new Summer Menu! All the options are homemade and carefully prepared on-site by experienced Chefs to ensure that your food is the freshest it possibly can be.

There are two Summer Menus to choose from: “A Taste of Summer” and “Summer Picnic”.

Some mouth-watering additions such as Lemon and Coriander Chicken with Watercress Mayonnaise or Hoi Sin Duck Rolls with Spring Onion and Cucumber can be ordered from just £7.95 per head and each menu comes with an option of dessert and FREE Orange Juice and Water.

The menus are available to order from 1st April – 28th September 2014.

Take a look at the menus now.

A Masterclass with Our Top Chef

Missing Masterchef? Bored of Fish and Chips? Want to impress your friends with an unctuous dessert but don’t know your mille-feuille from your macaroons? Don’t despair; we have the head chef Marc Mottershead on hand to guide you through two simple yet delicious recipes from his extensive repertoire.


A winning team for years to come- Marc and Bev in 1995 (left) and today (right)

Marc has worked as head chef at University House since 1995, preparing and serving the finest locally sourced ingredients to an array of stars and celebrated alumni: Judi Dench, Alan Bennett, Melvyn Bragg and the Olympic-winning Brownlee brothers to name but a few. Our Head of Catering and Conferences, Bev Kenny, can still remember the menu that Marc served up in the Invention Test” of his interview (his Lemon Tart was to die for”). His longevity is a testament to his skill and ability to create menus that are classic yet contemporary, catering to any delegates’ dietary requirements.

The seven rooms at University House have recently been refurbished with a contemporary decor and are extremely flexible; ideal for VIP meetings, formal sit down meals and receptions.

The standard of the rooms and high level of customer service, linked to superb catering, have given the venue a first-class reputation.

Marc may be a Manchester United fan (not so much these days”, he says, and you can see why), but we won’t hold that against him when he gifts us recipes like the two below on a regular basis. So when your parents/in-laws/friends/spouses/colleagues/guests on Come Dine with Me run out of superlatives for your culinary creations, you will know who to thank. But don’t be afraid to take the accolades and credit, after all, you did the leg work.

Grilled Sea Bass with Sauce Vierge

Perfect for the Indian Spring” we are having at the moment, enjoy with a good Sauvignon Blanc and good company. Serves 4.

Cooking time: 30 mins


50g melted Butter
4 Sustainably Sourced Sea Bass Fillets
100g seeded and finely chopped Cherry Tomatoes
2 tsp Capers
Juice of ½ Fairtrade Lemon
1 finely chopped Shallot (Red Onion can be used as alternative)
100ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Good handful torn Basil and chopped Chives to garnish

  1. Line a grill pan with foil and brush lightly with butter. Brush the Sea Bass with butter and season. Lay on the foil skin-side up.
  2. Put the tomatoes and shallot (or onion) in a pan with the capers, lemon juice and oil. Season.
  3. Grill the Sea Bass for 5-7 minutes (depending on thickness of the fillets) under a hot grill until just cooked and the skin is starting to brown. Meanwhile, warm the sauce through for 2 minutes then stir in half of the torn basil leaves. Lift the Bass onto warmed plates using a fish slice and spoon over the sauce. Serve with steamed new potatoes, dressed with a little butter and the remaining basil and chives. Season and serve.

Chef’s top tip: when you have chopped onions, garlic or hot peppers, wash your hands with cold water, rather than hot. This will stop the flavour cooking” onto your hands and intensifying the smell.

Super Gooey Chocolate Brownie

Everybody claims to have the perfect Brownie recipe; well we have the best of the best. This is perfect for birthday parties or as a dessert to the Sea Bass (serve with mascarpone ice-cream). But its best kept for a lazy weekend with nothing to do but make coffee and watch box sets. Serves 12 greedy people with healthy appetites and a sweet tooth.

Cooking time: 50 mins


350g Caster Sugar
6 Eggs
350g melted Butter
125g best Cocoa Powder, sieved
125g sieved Flour
350g dark Fairtrade Chocolate
100g chopped Hazelnuts (or any nut that tickles your fancy)
100g White Chocolate, broken into chunks

  1. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk. Gradually add the caster sugar and whisk until combined. Then add the melted butter and again whisk until combined.
  2. Continuing to whisk the mixture, steadily add the flour and cocoa. Ensure that you do not add too much at once or the mixture will become lumpy.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate, either in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave (check regularly if using the microwave as you do not want the chocolate to burn). Stir this into the mixture.
  4. Add the nuts and white chocolate and stir through for an even distribution. Transfer to a large baking tray (around 40x25x4cm) or several smaller trays which have been lined with greaseproof paper, smoothing the mixture into the corners of the tray with a spatula.
  5. Cook at gas mark 5 (180-190 Celsius) for 30 minutes. Pull the shelf out a bit and gently shake the tray. If the brownie wobbles in the middle, it’s not quite done, so slide it back in. You want the centre to bee moist and gooey but not wet, so there will be a glossy crust”. If it is not fully cooked allow up to 10 more minutes, checking after 5.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tray. Slice while still in the tray, remove and transfer to an airtight container.

Chef’s top tip: If you want to make some to hide away for a special occasion, it’s useful to know that they’ll keep in an airtight container for a good two weeks and in the freezer for up to a month.

To make a booking at University House you can contact one of our event organisers:

We will be happy to help you with your enquiry.