Spartanburg schools goes to scratch cooking

To facilitate the move from prepackaged, cafeteria workers underwent a two-week culinary boot camp.

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Spartanburg County School District 6's motto is "children should always come first," and this year, it's putting its money where its mouth is — literally.

When students line up for lunch on the first day of school Aug. 18, the school district's food-service workers will dish out fresh, home-cooked meals rather than the standard pre-cooked food, said district spokesperson Cynthia Robinson.

All of the district's cafeteria workers have participated in a two-week long culinary boot camp to learn the proper method of making fresh meals from scratch using local produce.

"We're very excited about the wonderful changes taking place in District 6," Robinson said. "We're providing healthier, great tasting, made from scratch meals that we know our children will love. Every decision we make is for our children, and we know our children will love the difference in the way the food is prepared."

Beginning Aug. 18, all elementary and middle school students can choose to eat a hot meal made from scratch or from the salad bar in the cafeteria. In addition to homemade meals, high school students will also have the option of Subway sandwiches or Papa John's pizza, all of which will meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines for school meals, she said. The district will have the only high school in South Carolina with an official Subway franchise inside its college and career center.

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...

Ideas and Innovation
soup sandwich

Aside from Black Friday shoppers, there may be no crowd of people more eager to get to their bounty than wedding guests headed for the passed appetizers. While they’re surely thrilled for the bride and groom, that feeling comes second to the thrill of landing that first shrimp skewer—especially after a long ceremony. Same goes for work-related cocktail parties. Caught up in an awkward conversation? Oh look, it’s the mini-grilled cheese guy!

This month, FoodService Director takes a deep dive into catering, from the latest and greatest in menus to starting a new program at your...

Ideas and Innovation
shrimp lemon

In an interview with Bon Appetit magazine, Victor Clay, a line cook at Nobu Dallas in Texas, reveals his two simple tricks to prep an average of 15 to 20 shrimp per minute.

First, use kitchen shears to split the back of the shrimp. Then, before removing the vein, run the shrimp under cold water, which will loosen the vein. This cuts down on cleaning time, and prevents cooks from having to soak and rinse the shrimp afterward.

FSD Resources