St Edmund Hall, Oxford University

Joining St Edmund Hall, Oxford University, in November 2010, Head Chef John McGeever relished the challenge of reinvigorating the prestigious College’s old fashioned menu to bring it up-to-date and better reflect the discerning tastes of the current students. With a flair for seasonal, international, modern food – from Indian to Thai – John’s menu is nothing but fresh, healthy and good quality.

Choosing Tilda as the perfect creative base for all his rice dishes, John comments “With Tilda Basmati I get perfect results every time I use it. There are no broken grains that you get with cheaper varieties and it always delivers a wonderful fresh taste”, he continues “With cheaper rice you buy a problem, with Tilda you buy safe.”

It also adds to John’s assurance that Tilda exercises a ‘fair-play’ policy when sourcing its Basmati rice. John comments, “The students are very concerned about where their food comes from and that it is ethically sourced. It is reassuring that I can tell them with confidence that Tilda Basmati rice is as ethical and fair as it gets.”

John believes that Tilda Basmati rice is an excellent, cost-effective carbohydrate and an essential staple in the students’ diets, “I see it as my duty to feed the students well, so they have the correct nourishment to be able to work hard and perform well. Tilda rice is the perfect base for so many of my dishes and in fact, beautifully cooked rice with a fresh, healthy protein, such as salmon, is one of the most popular dishes here at St Edmund.”

Indeed, two of the recipes John has recently developed using Tilda Basmati Rice have gone down especially well with diners – firstly, a Thai Spiced Fillet of Salmon on Roast Aubergine with a Coconut Milk and Chilli Sauce served with Tilda Basmati Rice infused with Sweet Peppers and Flat Leaf Parsley, and also a Braised Breast of Chicken with Lemon Grass and Star Anise, Stir Fried Vegetables and Tilda Basmati Rice spiced with Fresh Lime, Coriander and Ginger. Selling an average of 120 portions of each dish a night, John comments, “These recipes are modern, fresh and simple and perceived by the students to be healthy yet tasty and fulfilling. Tilda Basmati Rice is a key ingredient, complimenting and taking on the flavours of each dish and helping create an appealing and attractive menu choice for my diners.”

JOHN’S TOP TIPS…

Rice is the perfect ingredient to add bulk to your meal plans. It’s more cost effective than potatoes and a perfect base to take on and even improve the flavour balance of the dish.

Tilda Basmati rice is ideal for creating delicious but easy vegan or vegetarian dishes. Simply serve with roasted vegetables and fresh herbs for a healthy, tasty and cost effective meal option.

Tilda Basmati is also fantastic as part of a fresh salad. Adding a healthy carbohydrate and substance to salads, Tilda’s grains also look so appetising, providing a perfect sharp, clean white base, and enhancing the appearance of the other ingredients.