GETTING TO KNOW YOUWritten by Shamari Steele
The people who make up TUCO have come from all walks of life.
This month, we catch up with David Nuttall, catering manager at Harper Adams University, to learn more about his career experiences...
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE UNIVERSITY?
Coming up to 12 years now. Harper Adams is a fantastic university with a great ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude from all the staff. It’s a small university, which makes us nimble and able to react quickly to whatever is thrown at us. In particular, the catering team that work tirelessly in a constant drive to deliver the best sustainable service and food we can and I’m sure this has helped us gain first place in ‘student experience’ in the Times Higher Education Survey this year. I’m really proud of all the catering staff here and their ability to strive for excellence in delivery to students and conference guests and again I’m sure the team members helped the university win What the University of the Year twice in a row.
WHAT’S ON YOUR CV?
After completing my catering qualifications I travelled the world for six years working in 12 countries until settling into the university sector at the University of Central Lancashire for three years then as an executive head chef
at Bradford University for six years.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST OR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
I’m really proud of completing a couple of master’s degrees in my spare time while working in this challenging hospitality sector. This has led me to advise the government on food safety issues within our industry.
I’m honoured to be a board member of TUCO and shout about the benefit of in-house caterers. The biggest highlight at Harper was collecting a Catey award on behalf of all my team, which is an amazing achievement for such a small team but great recognition for their hard work.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO UNIVERSITY CATERING?
First and foremost, university catering brought me home to Preston, but I soon realised the sector had so much more to offer in terms of challenges. The sector does benefit from a better work-life balance compared to restaurants and hotels. Other than spending five years studying in universities and colleges I knew very little about the sector, yet it’s been a thoroughly rewarding 21 years.
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY CATERING SECTOR?
At Harper Adams, it’s the people – team members, vibrant young students and diverse conference guests. As a sector, the TUCO family who embrace each other with great ideas, support, and an ongoing drive to raise the bar.