Two women offer an answer to fixing school food

In order to teach science, math, literature, history, foreign language, home economics, art, P.E. or music schools require that teachers have training and proficiency in their subject. Kate Adamick and Andrea Martin believe that schools need another type of teacher and provide the training to enable them to be proficient in their field. They train Lunch Ladies to become Lunch Teachers.

Both women are accomplished chefs, and Chef Adamick was previously a corporate attorney. Kate Adamick has considerable experience showing how to transform institutional food into healthful meals, and today she and Chef Martin operate Cook For America, with the major focus on their culinary “boot camps.”

The boot camp is a 5-day, intensive program to teach culinary skills to those who are in charge of our children’s school food. Lunch Ladies are taught how to prepare delicious food from scratch, which not only results in calmer, brighter, healthier children, but also gives the cafeteria staff the respect they deserve. They become teachers in their schools, showing children how to enjoy healthful food.

Cook For America has numerous programs, including “Jr. Chef” which involves children in food preparation and enlists the help of other professional chefs in sharing culinary skills with school personnel.

Previous Pure Facts articles have shown how schools can provide healthy food that costs less than factory food and have pointed out the enormous savings as a result of a reduction in learning and behavior problems. A small portion of these savings could be applied to training a school’s Lunch Teachers.

The resource schools need is available right now

Every year young chefs graduate from culinary schools throughout the country. They seek out ways to work at the craft they love, designing and creating wonderful things to eat. But most of them end up working until the wee hours, in hot kitchens at chain restaurants, cooking other people’s recipes and earning low wages; many quit the profession and their dream.

These talented people could be a solution for schools looking to improve their breakfast and lunch programs. Such a chef could easily create menus, bring in fresh food and train a staff to help prepare it. A chef could show children how to enjoy healthy food, knowledge that will pay huge dividends in a healthier and more successful life.

The salary for a school chef would be far more than they earn in a restaurant, and their work day could end at 2 pm instead of 2 am. Another bonus is that summers, weekends and school holidays would be theirs to enjoy.