Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s lunchtime at the Winthrop STEM Elementary School and there’s some exciting choices for lunch.

“Yum, yum, yum,” says one student standing in line.

That’s the type of excitement the Chefs in Schools program hopes to inspire.chefs in schools 5 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

The food is made from scratch and it aims to not only make meals nutritious, but delicious. It’s also bringing non-traditional choices to students.

“We’re very fortunate in New London that all of our schools do in fact have full kitchens,” says Chef Dan Giusti who brought Brigaid, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to transform the way students eat in schools, to six New London schools.

chefs in schools 2 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New LondonAs part of the pilot program, each school has its own chef. At Winthrop it’s Wesley Barrington.

After serving his students, he walks around the lunchroom to see what they think of their meals.

“You cook good, the salad and that,” says one student to Barrington. “Awesome, thank you,” he says. “Do a high five?” “Yeah,” says the student who promptly high fives him.

Topping Tuesday’s menu was fried rice with Broccoli Rabe.chefs in schools 9 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

“Is every kid going to love this today?” said Giusti. “Probably not, they have a lot of options.”

The safe option is ravioli and garlic bread.

We asked second grader Charlotte Sabados how it was. “Good,” she answered.chefs in schools 6 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

“I like lunches this year better,” said second grader Landon Petiford-Jones.

Chef Giusti came from Noma in Copenhagen, which had once been considered the best restaurant in the world.

“Different setting,” said Giusti. “Different price point, but when it comes down to the challenge it’s very similar.”

chefs in schools 8 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

And it’s one he welcomes. He says fresher doesn’t always have to mean more expensive.

“A chicken patty costs significantly much more than a piece of chicken thigh with the skin and the bone off,” said Giusti.

There’s no more PB&J’s or chocolate milk, but the fruit is cut up for easier eating and those who want to try something new can.chefs in schools 7 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

“Maybe tomorrow,” said Petiford-Jones.

“You really have an opportunity to change their lifestyle or improve their lifestyle by the foods, which we can serve so it’s really an opportunity to help out and I love that,” said Giusti.chefs in schools 4 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

The chefs from all six schools will be putting on a community meal tomorrow as they do every Wednesday at the Benny Dover Jackson Middle School. It allows the public to get to try the food and it’s one way the chefs raise money for the program.chefs in schools 3 Chefs in Schools pilot program keeps cooking in New London

This is the second of the four year pilot program in New London schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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