A Totnes primary school has won the All Party Parliamentary Group, Excellence in School Food Award for the quality of it’s food.

The Grove Primary joined forces with Chefs in Schools to transform the menu. Head teacher Hilary Priest said: “It was great to hear that we’d won. “We’d done so much work over the last year to completely change the way we do things and the way that children look at food. “Food is so important for children and we’d noticed that they were slightly fatigued in the afternoons.

“They had probably been eating too many carbs or not healthy enough food but now they’re really invigorated, we’ve had the best SATS results ever. ‘’The food is much more nutritious and the children grow their own food in season. “They love Marco, they love the food they love the options and their tastebuds have just grown so much. Marco teaches them how to cook.” Marco Pilloni is the Head Chef and has previously cooked for Her late Majesty the Queen, on TV and at Michelin-starred restaurants. He explained some of the food on offer: “Today is pizza day and I’ve just made 18 kilos of fresh, hand-stretched dough. “We use a margarita base with mozzarella and they can choose their toppings such as Chorizo, ham, sweetcorn and black olives.“On other days we have fresh salmon, vegetarian lasagne, chicken curry, chicken noodle soup, baked potato with tuna and pilchard mayonnaise and much more. The budget for ingredients is just £1 per meal but Marco stretches it a long way. Every time there is a meat-based meal there is always a vegetarian alternative.

I spoke to a small group of mostly eight-year old children. Grace said of the meals: “They’re really really, really nice but I’d like them to bring back the tacos.” Khaled said: “My favourite food is the pizza because it’s so yummy.” Oscar said: “It’s really tasty and I like pizza a well. I like the toppings that go with it and the mozzarella. Finally seven year old Ivy said: ‘’I really like the pizza and the fish and chips and halloumi and chips.”

The Grove was the first in Devon to partner with Chefs in Schools, a charity which helps schools train their kitchen teams to fuel the future.