Bringing sustainability into the kitchen at Sheffield College

Supporting Sustainability Projects

Bringing sustainability into the kitchen at Sheffield College


Food sustainability is about much more than growing your own vegetables. Starting in community allotments, it extends throughout procurement, lifestyle, food waste, food poverty, social cohesion, and much more.

Sheffield on a Plate embodies this holistic approach to food sustainability, reaching a potential audience of 100,000 students, embedding positive eating habits across the entire city.

One of the recent highlights of the project has been a sustainable MasterChef competition, culminating in a six course meal presented to over 50 guests.

Catering students of Sheffield College have been training students from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University across six weeks, providing skills in good cooking with local, seasonal food.

“I never thought about what food was in season”, admitted medical student Candice Munro. “You go to Tesco, and it’s all there. You never think what’s actually grown here, what you can get easily, what cost a lot to ship over – and now I can actually think about it… so that’s great”

One of the dishes prepared for the competition itself was seared mackerel nicoise. “Normally we would use tuna or something like that” explained Mick Burke, a Sheffield College chef mentoring the students. “But a commodity that is readily available now, and very nutritious, is mackerel. So we’ve taken the classical nicoise, and it’s going to be a mackerel nicoise”.

“It’s a warm salad, with seared mackerel on top”, explained Gabriel Paramore and Alice Game, two Sheffield Hallam University students, who cooked the dish on the night.

By utilising sustainable North Sea stock, and paying attention to the seasonality of vegetables, Sheffield on a Plate has helped students to realise how making sustainable food choices can still result in incredible dishes.          

The 50 guests were bowled over by the quality of the seven courses – so keep checking back to find out whether the University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University were crowned sustainable MasterChefs in an upcoming webisode.

But before then – why not try your own seared mackrel nicoise by using the recipe below, provided by Gabriel. Be sure to make sure your ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced. Enjoy!



Gutted and fillited mackerel – from certified sustainable North Sea stock
Yellow plum tomatoes
Red Cherry tomatoes
Baby basil
Celery leaves
Green beans
New potatoes
Panko breadcrumbs


Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Anchovy Paste 
Black Olives

Sun-blush tomatoes:

Red cherry tomatoes (dehydrated)
Olive oil
Cracked Black pepper


  • Cook beans in boiling water until aldente (don’t forget to put a lid on your pan to save energy)
  • Cook potatoes until fork done, cook from cold water to boiling
  • Dress beans and potatoes in dressing
  • Cook mackrel for 3 minutes skinside down in a steaming hot pan, holidng the fillet down in the pan to stop curling, then finish off for another minute on the other side
  • Put quatered vegetables onto the plate (3 of each quarter) then put the beans in the middle to tower the mackrel on.
  • Put some more dressing on the plate and add baby basil and celery leaves.

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