We’re always excited to team up with Chef Cyndie, who is working to bring culinary knowledge and skills to create healthy meals to public school cafeteria managers. The K12 Culinary Team is composed of dietitians, school nutrition specialists and chefs. We have provided culinary training over the last 3 summers across the state of NC. To date, direct training has been given to almost 1200 cafeteria managers! The training includes culinary techniques as well as time management, staff scheduling, marketing and promoting their programs. This is an amazing way to help schools incorporate healthy eating and creative meals to their students.
A unique feature of our program in NC is the “teach it forward” aspect. We have also been teaching the managers and providing them with the tools to go back to their kitchens and teach/train their staff. So those 1200 managers have impacted an almost 4800 base of employees feeding our children across the state!Our owner Andy helped teach cafeteria workers how to julienne vegetables. It may seem like a silly skill for serving children, but children, just like adults, eat first with their eyes. And they are naturally drawn to colorful, interesting food. Part of this amazing program is teaching the school employees how to do this quickly, efficiently, and with the available resources they have. Chef Cyndie’s program teaches them time standards, kitchen hacks, batch cooking, and mise en place strategies to help them prepare healthy meals for the students. Moving Forward…
National School Nutrition Association- Outside of NC, working with this team has taken us to Texas, Indiana, Georgia and Kentucky to provide culinary services to public school districts. Andy has also submitted a proposal to present at the national School Nutrition Association annual conference in June 2019 in St. Louis with a program entitled “I was that guy”. This program will discuss his travels from an “industry chef” to a “school nutrition chef” and the challenges he has faced along that transition (of which there is many, and is common).
PTA Meeting- We will also be hosting a state PTA meeting here at Montero’s on Oct 30th in support of school nutrition. These types of meetings have been happening recently in Raleigh and ours will be designed to showcase actual school nutrition recipes that are being used across the state. Local legislators are being invited so that they can hear about the importance of school nutrition and the need for their support in garnering more financial help from the state government.
ECPPS Education Foundation- Andy has also taken over the role of Chair of the ECPPS Education Foundation’s Annual Meeting. It will be January 24th and our theme is “Feeding the Brain…from the cafeteria to the classroom”. This will have the same focus and format as the PTA meeting….we’re serving them all real school food!