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Martin Smith

Exec Head Chef, Manchester University


Manchester University is a well-established educational institution in this vibrant and buzzing city. It stands proudly as one of the largest single-site universities in the UK, educating over 39,000 students.

With his years of experience working within an array of top hotels across the North West, Martin Smith, who is Executive Head Chef at the university, is the perfect candidate to cater to the needs of those hungry home leavers!

Martin has been at Manchester University for over 7 years and strives to create diverse and exciting dishes on a daily basis in order to encourage students to try something new.

“We are forever innovating and changing our menus; students have more opportunities to travel the world now and are willing to try new dishes. As chefs, we should be taking advantage of this to introduce more to our menus and educate students on international cuisines. We cook a variety of authentic curries and stir fries, which are the most popular dishes on our menu. Done right they sell extremely well.”

Known for their fair-trade status, awarded in 2005, Manchester University prides itself on its sustainability credentials, something that is extremely important to Martin as a chef;

“Fair trade is particularly important to the university, but also to me as a chef. We try our hardest to ensure sustainability is always delivered, to support not just the community locally, but worldwide too.”

He continues “Looking after the environment and using sustainable products can be challenging, especially buying in the volumes we need as local farmers sometimes struggle to keep up with our orders. Tilda helps us overcome this constant battle – they operate a fantastic fair play policy in sourcing its Basmati Rice, which gives us peace of mind that the farmers are being well treated and looked after.”

Working in large universities can prove extremely demanding for the kitchen team. To make sure that they can always create the great dishes found on the menu, Martin ensures they always have the right products available;

“Working with Tilda gives me peace of mind. They always deliver and I completely trust that they will provide me with what I need, time and time again. We serve an average of 5,000 meals a day, which can prove stressful in the kitchen, but using great products such as Tilda Easy Cook Basmati makes my job so much easier.”

Martin continues “Tilda rice is consistent and the yield is absolutely fantastic – Tilda Easy Cook Basmati rice is one product I would definitely recommend to other schools and universities.”

To find out how you can replicate Martin’s delicious Roasted Butternut Squash and Basmati Rice, watch the video below and get cooking!