Colorado school district hires Ann Cooper as Consultant

Upgrading menus first on to-do list.

BOULDER VALLEY, Colo.—Boulder Valley (Colo.) School District has hired Ann Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Berkeley (Calif.) Unified School District, to revamp its school meal program.

Cooper will manage the project through her consulting firm, Lunch Lessons LLC. “The first step is looking at the menus and the commodity food order,” Cooper said. She hopes to eliminate most processed foods and will develop a new menu for the 2009-2010 school year. In addition, Cooper hopes to upgrade the department’s infrastructure and kitchens.

Cooper and her staff will begin work Jan. 1, at which point Cooper will work half time in Berkeley and the other half in Boulder. She said a team of Berkeley’s managers and the executive chef will “step up to the plate” while she is gone.

“Boulder is really ready,” Cooper said about deciding to work with the district. “They need a lot of work and I think they deserve a lot of credit for knowing they needed to make these changes.” Cooper anticipates that it will take three years to revamp the program. Boulder Valley is funding the project with a $100,000 gift from a local couple. Whole Foods has also agreed to match the donation.

Lunch Lessons LLC, aims to teach children how to “seek, grow, prepare and eat nourishing, delicious and sustainably grown food.” Cooper and the firm have provided consulting for several school districts, but the work with Boulder is the first complete overhaul the firm has done since Cooper took over at Berkeley after revamping its program in late 2005.

 

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
chicken wings

We started advertising our chicken wings as halal wings with assorted sauces. Our inspiration was to inform customers of an option that was available but not widely known. By changing our approach to our marketing efforts, we were able to exponentially increase participation in the consumption of our halal menu items.

Managing Your Business
busy kitchen

While catering a wedding for a previous employer years ago, Rahul Shrivastav—now director of catering at University of Michigan—found himself in a panic when an elevator malfunction put salad service on hold. “The wedding was in a very old building and the elevator had issues,” he says. “We had 200 plated salads in the freight elevator when it got stuck. The dinner needed to start—they were doing their toasts.” In a panic, Shrivastav hustled up a plan B: His team would station a chef outside the ballroom, and he’d plate new salads right there.

Luckily, the elevator was fixed in...

Menu Development
beau rivage resort blended burger

Stealth health is so 1998. When author Evelyn Tribole’s original book on sneaking healthy add-ons into meals was published nearly 20 years ago, there may have been a genuine nutrition need to fill. But as today’s diners are increasingly requesting more produce at the center of the plate, another need has taken the lead: a desire for creativity. Here’s how operators are openly blending meat with other ingredients—or eliminating animal products entirely—to take protein to another level.

In April, dining halls at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., began offering the Beyond Burger, a...

Ideas and Innovation
desserts plate

We’re knocking down a wall in our bar area, which will create a more inviting atmosphere and allow us to host a coffee and dessert bar in the space on off nights when the bar is closed.

FSD Resources