On Wednesday April 6, 2016 the Boston Globe in collaboration with Let’s Talk about Food hosted a two-hour session, Stepping Up to the Plate: Creating Tasty, Healthy and Affordable School Lunches, at the Boston Public Market.
The evening featured demonstrations and discussions around local successes as seen at Fenway High School in Boston. Earlier this school year Fenway High, in collaboration with Project Bread, transformed their kitchen into a test kitchen where Chef Guy Koppe and Chef Gaitskell Cleghorn Jr. have been whipping up budget-friendly, exciting and healthy recipes that students have been extremely receptive to.
Culinary demonstrations from Project Bread’s Chef Guy Koppe, and owner of local restaurants Rialto and TRADE Chef Jody Adams showcased the simplicity with which tasty, healthy and affordable lunches can be made. During the demos Chef Jody Adams noted the importance of incorporating umami flavor into dishes to give consumers a satisfied feeling. Two ways to add umami flavor to school lunches is to start by browning garlic, or to add tomatoes to the dish. Students from Fenway High’s Culinary Club served as a taste test panel and confirmed that both chefs’ creations were a hit.
Later in the evening Brendan Ryan, the school nutrition director of Framingham Public Schools closed out the session with a discussion of Framingham High School’s extensive courtyard garden that produces fresh produce for the school nutrition program and gets students involved. Brendan mentioned that in his experience, K-12 students are more likely to enjoy dishes that are made with five ingredients or less.