Hampshire County Council Catering Services

30 years at HC3S

Take a trip though time and find out more about some of our longest-serving members of staff

Mel Blake

Mel started her catering career when she had a spell of work experience at McDonalds while at school. She originally wanted to work with horses and dogs in the army but there was a mix up with a classmate’s choice and they went to each other’s places of work. 

Growing up with ‘Soul food’, from her West Indian roots, she ate a lot of homemade chicken and pig’s trotter soup with dumplings which is said to be very good for you if you feel poorly. She does however despise black eye peas (the food not the group) and jerk chicken, as her and her siblings were made to eat it as it’s a West Indian staple. Before joining HC3S, Mel, has worked with various private catering companies and has even had the opportunity to wait on HRH Her Majesty the Queen while working at Royal Ascot.

When Mel’s kids were young, she worked for another education caterer as the position offered hours that suited her family life. During this time, Mel taught her three children to cook from a very young age, well as soon as they could hold a spoon and a whisk! They continue to love cooking now and as such she believes everybody should know how to cook, especially children. Mel then spent six years at Thornden Secondary School working as part of the HC3S operational team before joining the Food Development team, where with her colleagues she takes great pride in shaping the menus for children across Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset.

Mel Blake