Chefs who make a difference

These 10 chefs are influential not only in their operations but their communities as well.

Brian Axworthy
Executive Chef, Assistant Director
Colorado Springs School District 11
Colorado Springs, Colo.

Why Brian?
According to Rick Hughes, director of food and nutrition services:

“Brian is definitely a visionary. Brian has helped us take our program from a mostly highly processed food program to now exclusively scratch-cooked or clean label items. The food tastes so much better and it’s so much better nutritionally. We focus on what are we doing to help students learn in the classroom, and Brian cares greatly about that. Brian’s responsibility is that he must create recipes and menus that taste great to kids for $1.04 per meal total food costs. Those are tall marching orders.

One of the things he’s doing this year is creating a junior chef program to involve kids around the district at some level to provide input about the food being involved in the cafeteria but also learning where food comes from and how do we cook food. He’s very excited to involve students.

Another key initiative this year was, through the USDA commodity foods, to get cut up raw chicken. Going back to cooking raw chicken in schools is pretty scary but I know that we have good food safety programs. That’s another program that Brian is instrumental in pushing forward.

Brian has done culinary boot camps for our staff. There is both time in the kitchen learning culinary techniques and he’s also got some class time when he’s walking through theories and why things are done. He doesn’t just do the heavy lifting. He teaches people how to fish, so to speak.

Brian is in charge of community outreach. He partnered with the local food bank, Care and Share. We were able to serve another 50,000 or 60,000 meals this summer because Care and Share got their food from us. Brian also is in charge of our food rescue program. We experimented with that in 10 of our sites last year. We rescued food and took that to a community center, which worked with one of our local churches to box up meals to serve those from a food pantry for no charge.” 

Pages

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Food delivery company Good Uncle is expanding to 15 college campuses this fall, The Daily Orange reports.

The company plans to grow along the East Coast and is looking at opening at schools such as George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University and American University. Good Uncle hopes to open at 50 to 100 campuses by 2019.

Starting as a delivery-only kitchen in 2016, Good Uncle partners with local restaurants to recreate their popular dishes and then deliver them to college students. The company offers free delivery, no delivery minimum...

Ideas and Innovation
wahoo tacos

School lunch is heating up. As expectations rise in the noncommercial sector, the old-fashioned cafeteria has become a hot topic. Political pressure on schools has seesawed over the past eight years, and nutritional regulations on items like sodium and whole grains have been overhauled (and back again). Meanwhile, students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers are demanding more healthfulness and better taste from school meals, often for the same cost.

Yet the industry’s best are dedicated to getting better, even while looking to the future with caution. “There’s not...

Sponsored Content
WinCup product

From WinCup ® .

The shape of hospitality is always changing—and challenging. Take the boom in off-premise and takeout, for example, that is expanding foodservice beyond the four walls of the dining room. That trend is driving both commercial and noncommercial operators to rethink their packaging needs—from a practical operational standpoint as well as when it comes to addressing consumers’ needs and desires.

Take it away

The tide of takeout is rising: 49% of 18- to 34-year olds say they are ordering food to-go more often now than they were three years ago, with 36% saying...

Industry News & Opinion

The dining team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., is concerned about the school’s upcoming switch to a new food vendor this fall, the Daily Northwestern reports.

While Northwestern says that its new vendor, Compass, will invite staff to join the company and dining employees will receive the same pay, benefits and seniority they have in their current arrangement, workers are still worried about the change.

Staff say that the university did not keep them informed while searching for a new vendor and that they learned about new developments through students and...

FSD Resources