KCS School Nutrition Professionals Participate in Innovative K-12 Culinary Institute

KCS School Nutrition Professionals Participate in Innovative K-12 Culinary Institute
Posted on 08/19/2016
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Local N.C. School Nutrition Professionals Participate in Innovative K-12 Culinary Institute


Kannapolis City Schools School Nutrition Program participated in a K-12 Culinary Institute workshop this summer in July with others across the state at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte.  Anne Treanor, School Nutrition Director for KCS and Chuck Ferguson, Cafeteria Manager at KMS participated in this summer’s workshop.

The institute, designed to increase the availability of fresh, appealing, nutritious meals at school, is funded 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 federal School nutrition Program has undergone drastic changes since the passage of the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which set stricter standards for school meals in an effort to reduce childhood obesity. “These federal changes really forces School Nutrition Administrators to rethink the quality of the foods we prepare as well as the presentation of our school meals.  Our customers today are very different than previous generations.  Students today want fresh, high quality food and fast,” Anne Treanor states, School Nutrition Director for KCS.  “The K-12 Culinary Institute is a unique opportunity for our school nutrition employees to enhance their culinary skills and glean tools and information critical to their important roles in providing quality, nutritious school meals.” Treanor states.


“Nutrient rich food means that students are getting what they need to be able to focus in the classroom. The K-12 Culinary Institute provides tools and information that can be taken back and implemented in school kitchens to enhance the learning environment,” said Dr. Lynn Harvey, School Nutrition Section Chief, NCDPI.


The face-to-face and virtual institute was developed by the NCDPI, School Nutrition Section, and nationally-accomplished 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 K-12 Culinary Institute graduates are chef ambassadors and culinary specialists. These ambassadors are prepared to teach other school nutrition professionals at the Local Education Agency/school level.


The series of workshops will continue during the summer of 2017. 

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