Fresh is best: School cafeteria managers learn new recipes

Published 1:22 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2023

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Eight Davie school nutrition managers completed a culinary institute workshop through the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).

The three-day program, designed to help increase the availability of fresh and nutritious meals served to students in lunch rooms, taught the managers more than 200 recipes, along with interactive classroom and in-kitchen instruction.

“Two things stood out for me during the training,” said Melissa Myers, school nutrition manager. “The first is ‘mise en place’ which is a French term that means putting in place or gathering. Simply taking a minute or two and gathering all the necessary items to complete the task will help you be much more productive. Work smarter, not harder.

“And the second is to always remember how you are presenting the foods. People eat with their eyes first so always make sure it looks appealing.”

The Office of School Nutrition worked with Chef Cyndie Story and the nationally accomplished K-12 Culinary Team in developing the institute to meet five core objectives:

• Improve student health, well-being, and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school.

• Increase participation in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs.

• Expand the capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce.

• Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain-rich foods.

• Provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.