Better Hospital Food


As part of the Better Hospital Food programme a range of recipes was developed by a team of leading chefs, led by Loyd Grossman, food critic and broadcaster.

Some dishes were adapted by the leading chefs from their own recipes, others are based on 'patient favourites' supplied by hospitals across the country. The resulting recipes are all suitable for use in an NHS healthcare facility.

A selection of seasonal recipes has also been developed. These recipes make use of local fruit, vegetables and other produce as they come into season.

Evidence suggests that using local, seasonal ingredients can give both nutritional and environmental benefits. As local produce does not travel far it is likely to be fresher and have caused less pollution during itransport.

Seasonal recipes

The National Dish Selector is a searchable database of leading chefs' and seasonal recipes. The database can be searched by both recipe and ingredient and is designed to be used as a resource from which to develop local menus.

Information on nutritional content is given in each recipe and is available in a downloadable nutritional spreadsheet. The raw ingredients have been analysed for essential nutrients using McCance and Widdowson tables. This information can be used to assess local nutritional levels.

Ingredients specifications for the recipes have been developed by the Purchasing and Supply Agency. These specifications designed to ensure that wholesome, high quality and value-for-money ingredients are used.

The Smaller Serving recipes are dishes from the National Dish Selector recalculated to provide meals for four to eight people.

seasonal recipes

Leading Chefs' recipes

Recipes suitable for use in NHS hospitals were developed by a team of Leading Chefs, lead by Lloyd Grossman, food writer and former presenter of TV’s 'Masterchef'.

The Leading Chefs team comprised:

  • John Benson-Smith, Hazlewood Castle , Tadcaster, Nr York;
  • Michael Caines, Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon;
  • Anton Edelmann, Maitre Chef des Cuisines, The Savoy, London;
  • Shaun Hill, The Merchant House, Ludlow, Shropshire;
  • Mark Hix, Executive Chef, Le Caprice and The Ivy, London;
  • Eugene McCoy, The Cleveland, Tontine, Staddlebridge, North Yorkshire;
  • Cyrus Todiwala MBE, Cafe Spice Namaste, London.

Leading chef Shaun Hill helped design a questionnaire asking patients to describe the consistencies and flavours of foods they preferred. The findings were incorporated into the dishes.

A selection of the Leading Chefs’ recipes were published as the NHS Recipe Book.


  • National Dish Selector
  • 4 to 8 portion recipes
  • Nutritional spreadsheet May '05 (168Kb Excel document)
  • Ingredient specifications (2.9Mb PDF document)
  • NHS recipe book (640Kb pdf document)