First lady steps up pairings of chefs and schools

New website plays matchmaker for chefs and schools.

Feb. 10—Michelle Obama unveiled an online matchmaking service today that brings chefs together with school feeding operations to shift students’ eating habits in a healthier direction.

The service is offered in a new website for the First lady’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, which was launched in June 2010 as part of her Let’s Move! campaign to combat childhood obesity.

The match-up function invites schools and chefs to register to participate in Chefs Move. The chefs are paired with a school, where they work on a voluntary basis with school nutrition professionals on recipes and student education.

They also meet with students, parents and teachers to teach healthful eating practices.

"Chefs Move to Schools has been a huge success with thousands of chefs teaming up with schools to prepare healthier meals and teach students about healthy eating, and now we're excited to take this program to the next level," said Obama in a press release. "ChefsMoveToSchools.org will make it even easier for chefs to connect with schools and share ideas with each other. So I'm counting on chefs and schools across our country to go to the website, sign up, and start cooking!"

The site was launched in collaboration with a number of foodservice industry associations, including the American Culinary Federation, the International Corporate Chefs Association and the School Nutrition Association.

The site was announced by the First lady, celebrity New York chef Tom Colicchio, and six contestants on the “Top Chef” reality TV program. They were joined by students from the Dallas Independent School District, the most frequent winner of HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Awards.