Chefs 2 Schools Has Been Very Successful in School Dining Centers Nationwide
RYE BROOK, NY--(Marketwire - May 3, 2012) - In 2011, Chartwells School Dining Services decided to leverage the talent and expertise of their chefs in order to help deliver healthy nutrition messages in a fun and appealing way to children. As a result, their Chefs 2 Schools Program was implemented nationwide last spring. One year later, the program continues to be a vital driving force in culinary and nutrition education in schools across the country. Culinary experts are showing children how to create healthy dishes that taste good.
Under Chefs 2 Schools, guest chefs 'adopt' a local school district and make planned visits to designated schools, for the purpose of creating a focus on healthy meals and educating students about sound eating habits and food preparation. The Chefs 2 Schools program can also incorporate classroom activities, local farm events, hands‐on cooking classes, family food and fun nights, student council meetings, wellness or youth advisory committees.
The following is an overview of the successful Chefs 2 Schools events that have recently taken place in Chartwells schools:
- Chartwells chef Ralph Garcia conducted cooking demonstrations at the Indian Prairie District 204, MO. Garcia, who conducts frequent Chefs 2 Schools events all across the country, is dedicated to meeting the new school lunch standards by familiarizing children with healthy foods and introducing fruits and vegetables at an early age. He challenged students to a food art contest and to "be creative and think outside the box."
- Longmeadow High School, MA, head chef Mark Brunton conducted a cooking demonstration to expose students to a variety of healthy and flavorful foods. At Longmeadow, Chartwells provides healthy alternatives for students including whole wheat pasta and a new flaxseed crust pizza. Chartwells also has a farm-to-table agreement with local farms in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.
- Princeton University chefs worked with Princeton Regional Schools, NJ, to create a school lunch with local flavor. The result was an Orechiette Locale, a vibrant pasta dish with a sauce filled with vegetables. The sauce met school meal requirements and made use of as much local produce as possible. The local ingredients were highlighted on the menu and the same recipe was used by other schools to incorporate any locally available vegetables into a similar dish.
- Comal Independent School District, TX, hosted its own version of "Top Chef Texas" when Chartwells executive chefs visited each of the district's middle schools for an "Asian Nation" cooking day. The chefs have visited different Comal school campuses throughout the school year to teach the value of cooking fresh foods and eating healthy. The program has been very successful in Texas as children look forward to visits from Chartwells chefs.
- Culinary students at Warren Central High School, Indianapolis, IN, recently participated in the First Annual Junior Chef competition, sponsored by Chartwells. The students were honored to be mentored by Chef Cary Neff, author, entrepreneur and Vice President of Culinary for Morrison Management Specialists. The winner received prizes which included a $500 scholarship to the school of their choice. The Chefs 2 Schools event was combined with National Nutrition Month's theme of "Get Your Plate in Shape."
- Chartwells and chefs from Rex Healthcare, Raleigh, NC, worked together to educate the students of East Chapel Hill High School on the importance of eating whole grains and other delicious grain varieties. Students tried samples of a vegetarian wheatberry chili, which has become a cafeteria favorite. The vegetarian chili is a great option for those considering a "flexitarian" diet, a Chartwells initiative that promotes a decrease in the intake of meats and encourages plant based proteins.
About Chartwells School Dining Services
Chartwells, a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group, provides dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide. For more information about Chartwells School Dining Services, visit www.eatlearnlive.com.
Chartwells School Dining Services
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