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.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
torch flame

There’s more than one way to open a wine bottle. When a corkscrew is nowhere to be found, David Brue—chef de cuisine and production manager for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s central production kitchen in Columbus, Ohio—reaches for his butane torch.

“I can never find a corkscrew anywhere, but for some reason, I always have a torch,” Brue says. “Heat the neck of the bottle carefully, and the cork pops right out.”

Managing Your Business
uconn gluten free bakery

When Amarillo Independent School District opened a central bakery , the foodservice team faced years of challenges: getting a handle on equipment, refining recipes and planning for shrinkage, says Michael Brungo, residential district manager of dining services for Chartwells at the Amarillo, Texas, district. Through trial and error, the right solutions at the bakery—which provides sliced bread and sandwich buns for the district’s 55 schools—rose to the top.

Though kitchens in general can be a minefield of issues, bakeries present some unique challenges thanks in part to the finicky...

Managing Your Business
food safety manager paperwork

Food safety can be a lot to handle, requiring plenty of paperwork and diligence to ensure a kitchen complies with health regulations. It’s important to assess the structure of a food safety program —and to know what’s required, and what’s just good to have on hand.

In recent years, as Virginia Tech’s foodservice operations have expanded, so has its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points strategy. The Blacksburg, Va., university doubled its food safety staff to two employees, in addition to a training project coordinator and a manager to teach basic food safety classes to...

Ideas and Innovation
ticket stubs

Every week, our cooks pick an experimental kitchen project to expand their skills, culminating in a Friday contest where they cook a new dish that puts them out of their comfort zone. The winner of the weekly contest is awarded points and prizes. The cook with the most points at the end of the year receives a free ticket to an annual team gathering in Maine, where staffers bond and gain inspiration from coastal menus.

FSD Resources