Way back in the day when I was a kid buying lunch at school was a rare treat. My parents mostly packed our lunches in brown paper bags. But I yearned to have 30 cents to buy any of the revolving choices of spaghetti, fish sticks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and macaroni and cheese. I wasn't in love with the greyish canned green beans often served with them. But I desperately wanted the brownies, cookies, and cupcakes.
Sound familiar? It wasn't good then and from the 60s onward, it's only gotten worse in the school cafeteria. But things are changing, thanks to any number of child nutrition advocates, including Michelle Obama.
Locally, child nutrition advocates include our own Cooks Confab chefs and on April 3 they're hosting a fun, delicious, and enlightening event to bring attention to the issue. Cooks Confab "School Lunch" involves all of the Cooks Confab chefs -- many of whom are concerned parents -- in partnership with local farms, ranchers, fishers, and artisans to serve "Haute Cafeteria Style Cuisine" at Fibonacci's Campus Point Bistro by Waters. The point is to demonstrate that communities can be masters of their own school lunch menus -- if they are willing to push for it.
The food. Dishes will include:
- Kitchen 1540's Paul McCabe's play on healthy Fish & Chips: Wild Striped Bass, Baked Vegetable Chips, and Tartar Sauce
- NINE-TEN's Jason Knibb's riff on Beef and Broccoli with Brown Rice
- Water's Fine Catering's Andrew Spurgin's and Martini Media's Melissa Mayer's Salad Bar, featuring produce picked that morning by kids from Fibonacci's on-site organic garden.
- A.R. Valentien's Jeff Jackson and TK Kolanko's Chicken & Local Vegetable "Pot Pie"
- Georges California Modern's Trey Foshee's Cream of Tomato Soup with Parmesan Cream & Bread Crumbs and Lentil-Barley Soup with Mint Yogurt
- Cafe Chloe's Katie Grebow's and chef/consultant Amy DiBiase's Suzie's Farm Vegetable "Lasagna" with Jidori Chicken Roulade, Handmade Focaccia and Strawberries n' Cream
- Farm House Cafe's Olivier Bioteau's Wheat "Macaroni 'n Cheese" with Carrot Turmuric Puree, Diced Vegetables and Gruyere Cheese
- Singaree's Antonio Frescia's Nathan's Natural Alpine Chicken Satay, Thai Almond Sauce, and Cucumber Relish
- Jack Fisher Confections's Cashew Nut Ice Cream Cups with Honeyed Quinoa