In March 2019, the newly formed Culinary Training and Education Advisory Board convened their first meeting at the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) headquarters at the University of Mississippi. Karen McGrail, MEd, RDN, LDN, Director of The John C. Stalker Institute (JSI) of Food and Nutrition, has been appointed as an advisory board member for the newly established national program.
The Culinary Training and Education Initiative is a new collaboration between the USDA and ICN. The goal of the program is to create and offer culinary resources and trainings that address the competencies, knowledge, and skills necessary to assist school nutrition professionals and school chefs to prepare and serve high quality, student-approved school meals.
McGrail has served as Director of The John C. Stalker Institute since 2012, as well as an adjunct faculty member for the Food and Nutrition Department at Framingham State University for the past 20 years. According to McGrail, “JSI has long offered culinary workshops for school nutrition staff in Massachusetts aimed at promoting delicious and nutritious made from scratch recipes. Our new Back to Basics Culinary Workshops to Go incorporate Gen Z-inspired food trends, include recipes for Asian fusion, Latin American cuisines and Mediterranean flavors.” McGrail says “I was thrilled and honored to be invited to be a member of the Culinary Training and Education Advisory Board and look forward to contributing to this comprehensive national culinary training initiative.