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Local School Nutrition Professionals Participate in N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute

posted Aug 7, 2018, 10:28 AM by Valerie Newton   [ updated Aug 7, 2018, 12:14 PM ]
School nutrition managers from across the state had the opportunity to participate in the North Carolina K-12 Culinary Institute. Bladen County Schools school nutrition managers, Erica Bridwell, Jeannie Powers and Marie Chavis from Bladen County Schools  participated in a K-12 Culinary Institute regional workshop on July 31, 2018 through August 2, 2018 at Ashley High Scool in Wilmington, NC. The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute, designed to enhance nutrition offerings, has been funded in part by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Professional Standards Training Grant received by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) School Nutrition Section.


"The K-12 Culinary Institute is a unique opportunity for our school nutrition professionals to enhance culinary skills and glean tools and information critical to their important roles in providing quality, nutritious school meals," said Amy Stanley, director for Bladen County Schools  School Nutrition Program. 

The face to face and online institute was developed by the NCDPI, School Nutrition Section, and Chef Cyndie Story's K-12 Culinary Team, in order to meet five core objectives:

§  Improve student health, well-being and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school,

§  Increase participation in high quality, enticing school nutrition programs,

§  Expand capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce,

§  Increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain-rich foods, and

§  Provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition personnel.

The menus and recipes developed for the K-12 Culinary Institute include:

§  Scratch, convenience, and modified scratch products and techniques,

§  Instructions written for production amounts consistent with pack or pan sizes commonly available in school kitchens, and

§  Nutritional analysis files for easy import into software programs and adjustments for standardization in Local Education Agencies (LEAs).

Planned instructional segments include topics such as knife skills, weighing and measuring accurately, preparing foods for just-in-time service, work simplification and scheduling, effective use of equipment, and quality food preparation and service for a variety of meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, and condiments.

The N.C. K-12 Culinary Institute participants graduate as chef ambassadors and culinary specialists. These ambassadors will be prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the local education agency/school level. Equipping School Nutrition professionals with needed equipment, educational resources and skills can positively impact the preparation, service and consumption of school meals.


USDA and NCDPI are equal opportunity providers and employers. Additional information regarding School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina can be found on the School Nutrition Services website.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027) available online and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

*  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

*  fax: (202) 690-7442; or email