Contact: Laura Stec (650) 855-7100 (Chef’s Move to Schools)
Rebecca Scholl (650) 787-9468 (Tasting Week)
Tasting Week & Chefs Move to Schools work together to tackle the
alarming trend in childhood obesity.
On the heels of staggering new information about growing obesity rates in the U.S., students and chefs come together at seventeen Bay Area schools this October to say, “Enough!”
Tasting Week, (Oct 15 – 19) is a week- long series of workshops animated by Bay Area chefs, teaching children about food, taste and gastronomy. Joining forces with Tasting Week is Chefs Move to Schools, Michelle Obama’s “ground campaign” of volunteer chefs mobilized to inspire students across the country toward healthy cooking and eating.
The events will visit schools and gardens in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale, East Palo Alto and Los Altos and Sunnyvale.
Chefs from some of the areas best-known restaurants and organizations are involved including: Chef Charlie Ayers from Calafia Palo Alto, Chef John Bentley from Bentley’s Woodside, Chef Marco Fossati from Four Seasons Palo Alto, Chef Nathan Beriau from Ritz Carlton San Francisco, Chef Jeremy Bringardner from LYFE Kitchen Palo Alto, Chef Emmanuel Robert from Sofitel Redwood City, Chef Laura Stec from Kaiser Permanente, Chef Liv Wu from Google, Chef Michelle Boldrini from Facebook.
Tasting Week originated from the Health and Wellness committee of the Juana Briones Elementary School PTA. Committee member Rebecca Scholl-Barbier said the workshops allow children to learn about nutrition in a qualitative way by appreciating the tastes and aromas of food. “I truly believe that educating children about the origin of food, how to prepare it, and how to appreciate flavors is one of the most successful ways to fight obesity,” said Scholl.
Bowman International School in Palo Alto leads the Peninsula Chefs Move to Schools effort. Chef Laura Stec with Kaiser Permanente and Innovative Cuisine, teaches a series of events including Snack Attack!, Parent/Child 5-Minute Cook Classes, and Cooking Seasonal with Solar. The goal of the school is to get older students teaching the lesson plans to the younger students, resulting in more student participation and some new dishes for the school lunch menu.
According to a report released last month by Trust for America’s Health, at least 44% of adults in every state could be obese by 2030 if America does not learn more about healthy eating and weight control.
“That’s this group of students,” says chef Stec. “In 20 years, these middle school students will be facing a dramatic rise in obesity-related diseases, but this does not have to be their future. Bay Area chefs are responding to a call of service, teaching delicious = healthy! The time to stop the trend is NOW!”
Volunteers are needed in schools to assist both efforts.