7/14/16 Some new recipes

Chef Cyndie Story instructs various school nutrition managers about roasting Brussels sprouts during the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute Summer Workshop at Highland Elementary School Wednesday.

Photos by Sam Roberts / Times-News

Chef Cyndie Story instructs various school nutrition managers about roasting Brussels sprouts during the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute Summer Workshop at Highland Elementary School Wednesday.

 

Some new recipes
ABSS cafeteria managers spice it up in training sessions
By Jessica Williams The Times-News 7/14/16  
Reprinted with permission.  

Alamance-Burlington School System nutrition managers Joseph McKinney from Western Alamance High School, left, and April Chandler from Western Middle School, center, listen to the instructor during the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute Summer Workshop at Highland Elementary School Wednesday.  

Alamance-Burlington School System nutrition managers Joseph McKinney from Western Alamance High School, left, and April Chandler from Western Middle School, center, listen to the instructor during the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute Summer Workshop at Highland Elementary School Wednesday.

 

ELON – The Highland Elementary cafeteria was filled with smiles and laughter Wednesday, as 24 cafeteria managers participated in their second day of training with Chef Cyndie Story of the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute.

Story has a Ph.D. in Food Service and Lodging Management from Iowa State University and a degree in Culinary Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta. She was joined by her assistant, Lydia West, who is a consultant specializing in child nutrition operations.

The training was inspired by a federally mandated increase in whole grains and vegetables, which can sometimes be unappealing to students both in flavor and presentation. Story aims to teach cafeteria managers how to make dishes that are appetizing and look good but still follow the healthier guidelines. For example, on Tuesday, managers prepared six different kinds of salads and talked about how to market them to students.

Among the 24 managers were two ABSS employees, April Channing of Western Middle School and Joseph McKinney of Western High School. Both were excited to be a part of the training. However, Kathy Oakley, Executive Director of Child Nutrition for ABSS and co-coordinator of the 3-day event, said there was some nervousness at first.

“I think they were apprehensive when I told them to come … but I told them it would be well worth their time and I asked [Joseph] yesterday, ‘What did you think?’ and he said, ‘I’m glad you asked me to come.’” Oakley said.

Channing said she was happy to add some new recipes to her repertoire. She’s already started making changes to the cafeteria at Western Middle. In the last school year, she added salads for teachers and parfaits for students, which she said were a huge hit.

“I walked out one day with a tray of 24 [parfaits] and eighth-grade boys, before I got to the cash bar, were running up and taking them off my tray and jumping in line to buy them. They loved them – fresh strawberries, granola – loved them,” she said. “I’m all about adding new things and getting them to eat.”

The training, which is funded at the state level, will repeat each summer for four more years. Along with various recipes, managers are allowed to keep any knives, cutting boards, or other utensils they’ve trained with to bring back to their school cafeterias, so they know they’re working with topnotch equipment. Oakley says, more than anything, this training strives to bring managers together to celebrate their work.

“You’ll notice they all have aprons and hats, and we’re hoping they’ll leave here with a sense of pride and professionalism that maybe they didn’t have,” she said.