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NYC Public Schools launches Chefs Council to develop plant-based recipes

The 12-member council will be chaired by celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
A school bus in New York City
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NYC Public Schools is launching a Chefs Council, chaired by celebrity chef Rachael Ray, to develop plant-based dishes for students and provide hands-on training for school nutrition staff.

The 12-member council is being created via a partnership between New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Education and nonprofit Wellness in the Schools.

In addition to Ray, the council will include chefs, industry professionals and food activists. Members will be tasked with developing over 100 plant-based and culturally relevant recipes that will be tested at schools across the city this school year.

Once student and parent feedback has been received, the recipes will be introduced in a monthly seasonal menu, and council members will train school nutrition staff on how to prepare and implement the new dishes district-wide.

This is not the first time the district has tried incorporating more plant-based dishes into its menu. In January, the district launched a “Vegan Fridays” initiative that got off to a rough start. The district also launched a “MeatLess Monday” initiative in 2019.

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