School nutrition professionals from Kannapolis and across the state are participating in the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute.
Michelle Moore, Pam Hatfield, Kim Simpson, Latoka Smith, Tammy Draper and Rose Ray from KCS attended a K-12 Culinary Institute regional workshop over the summer in Mooresville.
The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute, designed to enhance nutrition offerings, is funded in part by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant received by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Section.
“The K-12 Culinary Institute is a unique opportunity for our school nutrition professionals to enhance culinary skills and glean tools and information critical to their important roles in providing quality, nutritious school meals,” Anne Treanor, director for KCS School Nutrition Program, said.
The K-12 Culinary Institute’s five core objectives are:
- 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.
Planned instructional segments include 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 and school level.