Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Schwan’s Chef Collective™ hosts K-12 Kitchen Collaborative at Houston Independent School District

Top chefs to collaborate with students and district for menu inspiration

Nov. 27, 2018 — Today, Schwan’s Chef Collective™ announced it will host its next K-12 Kitchen Collaborative Dec. 3-6 in Houston, Texas. Participating Schwan’s Chef Collective members will work along with 12 HISD chefs and students in schools from across the district to create delicious, healthy and exciting new recipes.

Since 2016, our company has continued to inspire culinary creativity in the K-12 space through chef-led events. Previous K-12 events were held in Wayzata, Minnesota, in 2016 and Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2017. This year, the culinary team will join the Houston Independent School District (HISD), aiming to inspire new school lunch recipes.

Participants at this Kitchen Collaborative include Food Network celebrity chefs Jet Tila and Todd Erickson, Top Chef contestants Adrienne Wright and Stephanie Cmar and Schwan’s culinary team.

Highlights of the week-long activities include:

  • Day 1 — Houston Taste Tour to inspire the week of creativity ahead.
  • Day 2 — Classroom Q&A’s between Schwan’s Chef Collective, students and the HISD foodservice team.
  • Day 3 — Recipe creation using ingredients already in the school’s pantry.
  • Day 4 — Mystery Ingredient Cook-Off competition, pitting the four chef teams against each other to create the perfect school meal—and the students will be the judge!

With the goal of sparking dialogue, engagement, and understanding among students, parents and chefs about what really goes into creating a school meal, this year’s event will feature even more student involvement. Chefs will engage with students in their culinary and garden classrooms, offering an opportunity for the students to show off their knowledge and for the chefs to share their passion for cooking along with some culinary insights. The event will be capped off with a fun mystery ingredient cook-off competition to be held on Thursday, Dec. 6, with students deciding which team created the perfect school meal.

“We are excited to bring these Kitchen Collaborative events to school districts across the country,” said Stacey Fowler Meittunen, senior vice president of product innovation and development, Schwan’s Company. “Our partnership with these renowned chefs brings an elevated level of culinary expertise to address the needs of school foodservice operators while creating excitement among the students about what they eat.”

As the seventh-largest school district in the United States, HISD has a diverse student population, many of whom are economically disadvantaged. HISD serves up to three meals per student per day, totaling 269,000 meals a day. Through the Community Eligibility Provision and new to the 2018-19 school year, the district now offers free breakfast and lunch to all students, with some schools offering free dinner as well.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the Schwan’s Chef Collective to our schools,” said Betti Wiggins, HISD’s officer of Nutrition Services. “Between the collaboration amongst our staff, students and the chefs, the Schwan’s Chef Collective is helping us spread the ‘good food’ message we’re trying to communicate.”

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