Executive Chef, Southampton University
Southampton University serves 3,500 covers daily and prides itself on its fresh approach to large scale catering. Graham Senior, Executive Chef at the University for the past 9 years, has applied his passion for good quality food and efficient catering and made it his mission to continually develop the university’s food offering – encompassing an exciting range of worldwide cuisines.
“Our customer base is very diverse; we have lots of overseas students so we look to cater for many different tastes. The most important thing as a chef is to provide for the customers’ needs, and we try to do this with lots of variety and plenty of new dishes,” Graham explains.
The many catering facilities at the university include numerous cafés, a staff restaurant as well as external conference rooms; however at its heart is the bustling student canteen plus a small restaurant for professors and their guests.Graham uses Tilda Easy Cook Basmati throughout due to its fantastic versatility and unbeatable quality. “We have created a Teriyaki Chicken with Savoury Egg Fried Rice for the students and a Tamarind Lamb Shank with Apricot and Coriander Rice for the staff. We know that any rice dish we put on the menu will sell, they have a lovely flavour to them and the quality of the ingredients means the customers will buy it. Rice is a big seller here, and Tilda is the only rice to use because it really gives the customers the quality and taste they want.”
“One of the greatest considerations for a university has to be cost and also nutritional value, but at the end of the day you are looking to produce a meal the customer wants to eat.Quality of ingredients is very important. I have tried many different varieties of rice over the years, but ultimately Tilda is the product that delivers. It’s foolproof, you can’t mess it up and for me that’s a big factor in providing the quality customers are looking for. There is no other rice I would use.”