How to implement a vegan menu

muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to do presentations for our parents. That second year, all of our Muse Talks were focused around plant-based diets.

Q: How did you make vegan fun for the students?

A: Hearing from them firsthand what they like and ideas of what they want to try out has been really helpful. They’ve been asking me for sushi, and with a three-person staff, I don’t think we could be rolling out enough for everyone. But today we did a tofu sushi rice bowl with teriyaki-marinated tofu.

Q: What are some goals every foodservice director can set to move toward a more sustainable kitchen?

A: I would say the easiest one is being mindful of what you’re throwing out. Starting a composting program is really simple, and switching to a more produce-forward menu is a trend in foodservice right now anyway.

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