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Boot Camp ...

Posted Jul 12 2010 10:11am

Boot Camps: The Perfect Summer School for

School Food Service Staff

I’m just back from a family vacation and my nephews were very excited about their respective summer camps.  Back at work we’re beginning to schedule two weeks of training for our Sous Chefs and Production Cooks.  As I catch up on school food news, I’m reading with admiration and delight about the Boot Camps that are being put on in both Colorado by the Colorado Health Foundation and in California by the Orfalea Foundations .


These “ Boot Camps ” are the “brain-child” of Kate Adamick and I was fortunate to work on the 1st one with her and a team that included Andrea Martin (who continues as a lead on the project), Beth Collins, Leesa LeClaire, Deena Chafetz, Michele Lawrence and Marguerite Lauro.

 There is so much discussion about school food these days.  We have Jamie Oliver’s School Food Revolution , Michele Obama’s Let’s Move Campaign , Farm to School , Slow Food USA , as well as advocates writing about and working on these issues all across the country.  But as we all know, action speaks so much more than words and that brings me back to the Boot Camps ; if we truly want to change how our kids are fed in schools, then we need to start by training Food Service staff about real food and how to cook it.  And I mean truly cook and not reheat!

 We need to help them understand everything from what real food tastes like, to why it’s important for kids health to how to financially manage an operation that segues from processed food to a scratch cooked environment.  And we need to teach them that cooking can be really easy and even fun.

So as we hit the mid-point of summer and as we think about vacations and summer camp and just enjoying the summer sun, we should also be thinking about and saying thanks to all of the Food Service staff and the Foundation staff that are spending part of their summer working toward a better/healthier and more delicious future for school food.

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