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NKY Schools Participate in Culinary Boot Camp

Several food service workers from Erlanger-Elsmere and Dayton schools along with personnel from six other local districts recently participated in a 5-day Cook for America® Lunch Teachers® Culinary Boot Camp at Finneytown High School in Cincinnati.

Funded by Interact for Health, the event teaches basic competencies necessary to run professional, cooked-from-scratch school lunch operations.

“Interact for Health is focused on making our region the healthiest in the country, and we know access to healthy food is fundamental to health outcomes,” said Jaime Love, program officer for healthy eating and active living at Interact for Health. “The Cook for America program provides school food service workers the skills they need to serve healthier options that kids want to eat.”

Teams train in several different areas, including food safety and sanitation, culinary math, basic knife skills, foundational cooking techniques related to proteins, grains, legumes, vegetables, sauces, and baked items, menu planning, and time management.

Participating schools say that while they often have the desire to prepare more nutritious meals, many of their staff have no formal culinary, dietary or food service training.

“We know that while school districts and staff often want to move to serve healthier options, they aren't sure how to begin or don't believe they have the support, time or money,” said Kate Adamick, Cook for America chef and co-founder. “Through this program, we're providing these teams with the skills, knowledge and confidence that they need to serve students cooked from scratch, delicious food within their budgets.”

- Staff report/Photo provided