Mark Fosh Inspires Dulwich College To Eat Healthily

Michelin-starred British chef Marc Fosh recently embarked on a tour of Dulwich College International schools in Asia to talk about nutrition and promote healthy eating. He touched down in Shanghai on 20 March for three days, taught the Dulwich College Shanghai community some new recipes and selected his favourite dishes from hundreds submitted by students, parents and staff.

Dulwich College International recognises the importance of healthy eating for the wellbeing of every child in its seven schools across Asia and have designed a recipe box containing original Fosh recipes as well as 30 recipes he selected from over 100 recipes submitted by members of the DCI community as part of a pre-tour competition. Furthermore, internationally recognised nutritionist Jessica Simkin, founder of Body Awakening, has reviewed and added nutritional tips to all the recipes. The recipe box is designed to give families healthy options for home cooking, and for students to take to university after they graduate from Dulwich.

During his tour, Fosh hosted cooking demonstrations or cooking classes and spoke to audiences about healthy foods that boost physical performance and brain power as well as worked with the caterers at all five schools to develop Marc Fosh recipes for inclusion every week on school menus. We spoke to Chef Fosh about the project and his thoughts about his trip to China.

Talk: How important are healthy foods in boosting physical performance and brainpower?
Mark Fosh:
The simple truth is that good nutrition; eating the right things and staying hydrated have a very immediate affect in boosting physical performance and enhancing brainpower.

T: Why is it so important to reach out to students when promoting healthy eating?
For me, it’s been interesting to work on the Dulwich College International project with Jessica Simkin, a wonderful nutritionist from who has provided easy to follow advice to help students and parents make the right choices.

She explains that it’s sometimes easy to forget that breathing and sleeping are the only activities we do more often than eating and all three are life sustaining.  Most of us eat at least three times per day and the foods we choose to fuel ourselves with have a direct influence on our physical, mental and emotional health. How well we function mentally and physically impacts our performance at school, work and life.

T: Is it possible to “eat right”, in a western sense of the idea, in Asia?
Absolutely! As with most things it’s about finding the right balance. As long as we make sure we are adding lots of fresh vegetables, grains and fruits into our diet and not overloading on salt, sugars and fats, there’s no problem. I think Asian cuisine shares some common qualities with the Mediterranean diet in that it focuses on vegetables and cooks with no cream or butter.

T: In a city such as Shanghai, where it is so cheap and convenient to eat out every night, how do you convince students to cook for themselves and take responsibility for their own nutrition?
I want to inspire people to actually get in the kitchen, cook and enjoy the cooking process at the same time. Cooking should be fun, not a boring chore. Also, if you are cooking simple, healthy, delicious recipes while improving your health and the health of your family and friends…what could be better?

Obviously, we want to get them hooked on good food when they are young and that is the goal and the purpose for the creation of our student recipe box.

T: Are you including Chinese dishes, as well as your trademark Mediterranean meals, in the recipe box?
There are wonderful recipes from all over, including China. The idea to get the students and parents involved by providing some recipes helped to bring in a lot of Asian influences as well.

T: Out of all of the meals you have taught students to prepare, which is the most popular and why?
The banana, orange and ginger smoothie has been a great hit because it is so simple and delicious. It takes seconds to make and the students really responded well to the flavours. I hope they will make it at home for a healthy snack!

T: Has your tour of Asia inspired you to add Asian twists to your creations back home?
Definitely! I love cooking Asian cuisine but I have always focused on Mediterranean food at the restaurants.
Maybe one day I will open an Asian Inspired restaurant… I have some great ideas.

We asked Mark Fosh to share one of his favourite recipes from the tour with Talk Magazine.

“Dukkah is great to serve with some olive oil and bread as nibbles when you have guests over. You can also substitute the hazelnuts with pistachios for a vibrant colour”. - Mark Fosh

* 500 g chicken breast (skinned and diced)
* Freshly ground black
* pepper


* 250 g of sesame seeds
* 135 g of coriander seeds
* 100 g of hazelnuts (optional)
* 75g of cumin seeds
* Salt and pepper to taste


1. Place the chicken breast in the food processor. Blend to form a fine mince and season.
2. With wet hands, divide the seasoned chicken into 8 equal portions and mould each one around a wooden skewer into a long sausage shape. Roll the chicken skewers in Dukkah to coat evenly.
3. When ready to cook, heat a griddle or grill to its highest setting. Place the chicken skewers on the griddle or grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Lightly roast the seeds and nuts in a hot oven until they begin to colour and release their aroma. Put them in a food processor and grind them to form a dry mixture. Do not over work them.

Serve with a side salad.

Another recipe that was submitted and selected for inclusion in the Dulwich College recipe box was this avocado and quinoa salad, created by Christine Green, a member of staff at Dulwich College Shanghai. Try it out for yourself!

Jessica Simkin from Body Awakening told us why this recipe was chosen and gave us the following tip, “Although quinoa is often considered a grain, it is actually a seed. It contains healthy amounts of protein, B vitamins and is a good source of iron. When cooking with quinoa, be sure to rinse the seeds prior to cooking in order to remove the bitter tasting saponins that are naturally present to deter birds and bugs from feasting on this delicious seed.”

* 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained (rinse thoroughly before cooking)
* 1 cup water
* 2 roma tomatoes (deseeded and finely chopped)
* 1/2 cup fresh spinach (shredded)
* 1/3 cup red onion (finely chopped)
* 2 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 2 ripe avocados (halved, peeled, and sliced. Brush slices with lemon juice to avoid browning)
* 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
* Spinach leaves
* Fresh parsley

1. In a saucepan combine pre-washed quinoa and water. Bring to the boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
2. Strain the quinoa and transfer quinoa to a medium sized bowl. Add tomato, spinach and onion; stir to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat.
4. Place spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Arrange avocado slices on spinach leaves. Spoon quinoa mixture over avocado slices. Sprinkle with feta and fresh parsley, if you wish.