Setting the Globally-Inspired Lunchroom Table

Back to Basics: Asian Fusion Lunch Tray

Back to Basics: Asian Fusion Lunch Tray

The JSI Back to Basics Workshops to Go are 3-hour internationally-inspired culinary workshops dedicated to expanding the culinary skills of school nutrition staff and promoting healthier, freshly cooked, and customizable school menu options. In Back to Basics: Asian Fusion, staff advance their culinary skills and confidence in preparing a customizable Build-Your-Own Asian bowl with student-favorites such as chicken teriyaki, crispy tofu, confetti fried, rice, and more! Back to Basics: Latin American Cuisine brings authentic Latin American flavors to schools and teaches school nutrition staff how to prepare a Build-Your-Own Street Taco menu option featuring fish tacos, fresh salsa, Spanish rice, and more!

 

These new menu-driven culinary workshops were created from a collaboration between the JSI Nutrition Education Specialist Jumana Saleh and the JSI chefs. In a recent interview, Saleh shared her observations from a recent visit to schools. “What’s been really fun is that the school nutrition staff are talking about how they can apply the workshops in their schools. Once the recipes are complete and we’ve set up the meal the way it would be served to the students, the school nutrition staff get to try and evaluate the customizable meal. They love it and start discussing how they will be able to execute and implement it – which means they’re taking it seriously.”

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Incorporating new flavors does not have to be a daunting task for school nutrition programs. Workshop menus are crafted to ensure flavors pair together well, recipe are standardized, nutritional analysis is completed and NSLP meal components are identified, and options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians are included.

A huge benefit of the Back to Basics culinary workshops is the wealth of knowledge from the JSI chef instructors.  Districts vary significantly and the chefs recognize and adapt to the differences in space and equipment available in school kitchens. “JSI chefs give the staff tips and tricks that boost culinary confidence in the kitchen. The JSI chef teaches them how to adjust their own settings and how to utilize what their school kitchen has available.”

Back to Basics: Latin American Cuisine Lunch Tray

Back to Basics: Latin American Cuisine Lunch Tray

Upon the completion of a Back to Basics culinary workshop, schools who would like additional chef support are encouraged to request a Live-Setting Culinary Training, where the JSI chef returns to facilitate the new customizable meal alongside kitchen staff during regular hours.

“At the end, because it’s customized menu, everyone’s plate has similar flavors but with their own creative twist. We encourage having students be able to explore things without it feeling like a huge commitment – like trying tofu without having it be their whole meal. We aim to expose the kids to foods from all over the world and try more things and be healthier overall.”

Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit – Highlights for May 22, 2019

Join school nutrition directors, managers and business managers from across the Commonwealth at the 2019 Healthy Kids, Healthy Programs Summit on May 21 and 22 aimed at promoting healthy students and healthy school nutrition programs. Check out the highlights for May 22nd!

Chef Dan Giusti, founder of Brigaid

The excitement from the first day of the summit continues with a morning keynote presentation Finding a Purpose in Cooking: A Chef’s Story by Chef Dan Giusti. In this keynote, Dan explains his journey of stepping out of his comfort zone to find his purpose in cooking and utilize his goal to empower schools to serve real, wholesome food, cooked with care and passion. With this goal in mind, he founded Brigaid in 2016 and uses his experience to share valuable lessons he has learned along the way about the challenge of cooking in schools and discuss what the future holds.

We look forward to celebrating the successes of Massachusetts school nutrition programs and professionals during our recognition ceremony on the morning of May 22nd. In the afternoon, Robert Leshin, Director of the Office for Food and Nutrition at DESE will share News You Can Use. As we wind down from this school year and transition to planning for next fall, Rob will take a look back on our collective successes over the past year and look forward to some new initiatives. Rob will provide an update on federal and state level changes and highlight areas of support from the department to help school nutrition programs reach their goals.

May 22nd Breakthrough Sessions

May 22nd Breakthrough Sessions

As in previous years, when you register, you will select from one of three learning tracks to target your professional development. The Boost Your Bottom Line track offers the opportunity to learn from other directors about their favorite products in USDA Foods – Director Tested, Kid Approved or learn where to find local foods and procurement methods in Local Procurement in Child Nutrition Programs. Ensure your communication skills are in top shape with the Communicate with Confidence track by learning how to diagnose misunderstanding and sharing your own perspectives with Wait. What? Or How to Get Curious When the Other Person is Clearly Wrong. Engagement and motivation also play a role in communication, so we’ve included Creating a Motivating Workplace, an ICN-developed session, where managers will explore factors that motivate staff to be engaged and productive. If your goal is to discover culinary resources and new inspirations to enhance your school menu, you won’t want to miss the Build Culinary Excitement track. Join Massachusetts Farm to School, Project Bread and Massachusetts school nutrition programs in a culinary battle highlighting local ingredients in The Power of Local – Culinary Throwdown. This track also offers tips, tricks and a food demo by Chef Samantha Gasbarro for utilizing USDA foods to create trendy, student-approved recipes on a budget with Modernizing USDA Food Recipes – Keeping Menus Trendy and Budget Friendly.

Register online by May 1st. We look forward to seeing you at the summit!