On May 8th 2015 Chef Shawn McManus hosted a Chefs Stay After School Cooking Class at the Cathedral Elementary School in LaCrosse, WI in honor of the National Chefs Move to School Day.
In efforts to help join the fight against childhood obesity by partnering with local schools Chef Shawn McManus conducted a 45 minute cooking demonstration for 30 students utilizing local & organic produce as well as some of the schools cafeteria items to create a cold vegetarian pizza.
Assisting with the organization & preparation was Principal Greg Wesley & foodservice staff; Kim Bagniefski & Margy Gundersen.
Chef Shawn had a discussion quiz with children “Name that Vegetable” and handed out prizes to the group. Demonstrating basic knife skills Chef Shawn chopped and diced a variety of vegetables for the children to view. The vegetarian pizza consisted of a pre-cooked pizza crust, chopped cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper, carrot, daikon radish & turnips. There was also an olive spread that consisted of Neufchatel cheese, chopped olives, garlic & onion powder.
Before the pizza samples were handed out, Chef Shawn thought it would be fun to hold a friendly competition between two volunteer students. Their task was to balance two turnips on cardboard paper rolls using both hands. “Blindfolded with chef hats” Chef Shawn thought this would be a fun way to get the children familiar with the color, shape and texture of the turnips. Both the children were given prizes for there courage.
The pizza samples were then passed out by the teachers, principal & foodservice staff.
Recipes were also posted on the schools website & newsletter.
The cooking demo was well accepted by the children, teachers & staff.
Chefs Stay After School is another example of how Chefs can get involved with educating children about eating healthy foods that taste great!
Shawn is an Executive Chef Instructor & Cooking School owner (Savory Creations) in LaCrosse, wI and he attended the National Food Service Management Institute’s Connect: Chefs Move to Schools Training in Viroqua, WI in 2014