Magazine article Times Higher Education

Bottling a Recipe for Success

Magazine article Times Higher Education

Bottling a Recipe for Success

Article excerpt

Even though our vice-chancellor was initially unable to recall his name, he was "only too delighted" to learn from our reporter Keith Ponting (30) that yet another member of our university team had achieved success.

This time, however, the achievement was recorded in an often-neglected part of the campus. For although Derek Trough, the catering manager of David Willetts College, has earned the respect of students and staff alike for such signature dishes as Tandoori Hake with Morello Cherries, he had not previously gained wider recognition.

But all that has changed with the news that Mr Trough has been awarded a "four-star world-class" rating in the recently concluded Recipe Excellence Framework.

Mr Trough told our reporter that he was particularly pleased with his new rating as he was only too well aware that his failure to produce recipes of sufficiently high standard in the past had aroused concerns that he might be relegated to "washing-up only" status.

What, wondered Ponting, had been the key to his REF success?

Mr Trough explained that his award had been based upon a peer group panel's assessment of four submitted pieces of work.

And what, asked Ponting, were these pieces of work?

"They were," Mr Trough explained, "basically, four small jars of strawberry jam."

"More or less the same strawberry jam in each jar?" Ponting queried.

"That's right," Mr Trough said. "Anyone who knows anything about the REF will confirm that you have to spread yourself as thinly as possible in order to maximise effect. …

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