Child Nutrition Professionals Train with Chefs
Published by Laurie Pender on August 30, 2016
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Tasha Russell (Westarea/Willis Manager) and Tina Henson (Britt Manager), attended the Institute in Sampson County.

Fayetteville – Eight cafeteria managers from the Cumberland County School system spent time this summer working with professional chefs while participating in the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute held in Sampson and Hoke counties (July 19 – 21). 

Attendees from the Institute in Hoke County.    (back row) Chanda Jones (Cumberland Rd/Howard Learning Academy), Precious Brayboy (Spring Lake Middle/Manchester), Christina Osborne (Cashwell), Cindy Brunette (Alderman Rd/Grays Creek), Annette Hunt (Armstrong), Lisa Guyer (Hefner);  (front row)  Chef Garrett Berdan and Chef Andy Montero.

Through the Culinary Institute, which is designed to enhance nutrition offerings, the managers were able to hone their culinary skills as Child Nutrition professionals by sampling new recipes, learning various speed-scratch cooking techniques, and practicing techniques for creating eye-appealing presentations for fresh fruits and vegetables. Recipes from the K-12 Culinary Institute that include Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Hawaiian Chicken Salad and the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait will be featured on lunch menus throughout the school year.

The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute graduates include Child Nutrition Managers from Alderman Road/Gray’s Creek Elementary Schools; Armstrong Elementary School; Elizabeth Cashwell Elementary School; Bill Hefner Elementary School; Cumberland Road Elementary School/ Howard Learning Academy; Jack Britt High School; Spring Lake Middle/Manchester Elementary Schools; and Westarea Elementary/Margaret Willis Elementary Schools. The graduates have become Chef Ambassadors and will be working this school year to ‘train it forward’ to other Child Nutrition professionals in Cumberland County.

The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant.  The face-to-face and virtual institute was developed by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Section and Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team to meet five core objectives:

  • Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school;
  • Increase participation in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs;
  • Expand the capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce;
  • Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain-rich foods; and
  • Provide continuing educational opportunities for school nutrition personnel.
        
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