The Chatham County Chef Challenge
Thursday, January 20, 2011
by Kristy B. Yule, MIRM
Regional Vice President Marketing, Newland Communities
Last year as we were preparing for our annual Earth Day festival we met with Superintendent Logan of Chatham County schools to discuss our desire to integrate sustainability education into the school system in honor of Earth Day. During our meeting we shared details of our planned Celebrity Chef event. That's when Superintendent Logan said "Wouldn't it be great if we could have some of those chefs help us with developing a menu for our kids?" And so began our collaboration with Chatham County Schools, The Abundance Foundation and three local chefs for the Chatham County Chef Challenge!
As our faithful blog readers know, The Abundance Foundation was formed to educate the public on sustainability topics, like local food consumption. Therefore, it was a natural collaboration to include this wonderful organization in the challenge. Tami Schwerin shares her views on the challenge here. As for the school, what prompted Chatham County to participate in this challenge? Superintendent Logan shares his perspective on the challenges the school lunch program faces here.
So, what happens when you take a posh chef, give him basic ingredients, limit sugar, salt and fat and ask him to cook for some of the pickiest eaters around, your kids? We wanted to put these "Top Chefs" to the test! The idea is simple really. Each chef will work from the same ingredients, utilize school equipment and stay within USDA requirements to create a healthy and delicious meal that kids will actually pay for and eat! Part of the challenge for our chefs is to work with county staff in preparing the meals and teach them new, simple and effective ways to increase vegetables/fruits in the kids' favorite menus.
Our three lucky chefs are:
- Chef Colin Bedford of the Fearrington House Restaurant
- Chef Jimmy Reale of the Crossroads at Carolina Inn
- Chef Steve Caldwell of The Natural Chef Culinary Program at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC)
So how will the chefs do? What sort of menu will they create? You can follow their progress each month at the Carolina Inn blog and the Fearrington Blog . Are these "Top Chefs" up to the challenge? Stay tuned to see if these local chefs can please the pickiest of eaters!
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