New Hanover County Schools will be participating in the statewide K-12 Culinary Institute July 31 – August 2, 2018. The regional workshop designed to enhance nutrition offerings has been funded in part by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant received by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) School Nutrition Section.
“We care about the health and well-being of our students. The K-12 Culinary Institute is one step that we are taking to equip our school nutrition professionals for their important roles in the schools,” said Imer Smith, Director of New Hanover County Schools’ Child Nutrition program.
The face-to-face and online institute was developed by the NCDPI, School Nutrition Section, and Chef Cyndie Story’s K-12 Culinary Team, in order 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 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, and
- Provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.
The menus and recipes developed for the K-12 Culinary Institute include:
- Scratch, convenience, and modified scratch products and techniques,
- Instructions written for production amounts consistent with pack or pan sizes commonly available in school kitchens, and
- Nutritional analysis files for easy import into software programs and adjustments for standardization in Local Education Agencies (LEAs).
Instructional segments are planned for topics such as knife skills, weighing and measuring accurately, preparing foods for just-in-time service, work simplification and scheduling, effective use of equipment, and quality food preparation and service for a variety of meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, and condiments.
The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute graduates will be chef ambassadors and culinary specialists. These ambassadors will be prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the local education agency/school level. Equipping School Nutrition professionals with needed equipment, educational resources and skills can positively impact the preparation, service and consumption of school meals.
USDA and NCDPI are equal opportunity providers and employers. Additional information regarding School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina can be found on the School Nutrition Services’ website.