Chefs Move to Schools
In 2010 First Lady Michelle Obama called on chefs to join the fight against childhood obesity by adopting a school. By collaborating with teachers, parents, school nutrition professionals and administrators, she hoped that the chefs would help educate the children about food as well as show them that healthy eating can be fun.
The program, Chefs Move to Schools, was to focus on the interests and expertise of each chef volunteer, while serving as a means for private restaurants and schools to create partnerships within their communities for the benefit of educating school age children about food and healthy eating
By seeking to utilize the creativity and culinary expertise of the Chefs Move to Schools program would help ensure that America’s youngest generation grows up healthier than past generations of children, particularly from the inner cities. Its goal is to solve the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. The Chefs Move to Schools program is a feature of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” initiative. In all the news articles about the launch of the Chefs Move to Schools, Kimberly Stakal was the chef who was associated with the city of Chicago.
At the time Kimberley Stakal, a young chef who is making a name for herself in the green, organic food movement as a food writer and accredited chef, was already working with a Chicago school before Chefs Move to Schools was officially launched in May 2010. She had worked as a culinary consultant with the Academy for Global Citizenship, a Chicago Public Charter School on the city’s south side since January of 2010, creating organic and even vegan options for the students. From January 2010 – October 2010 Kimberly trained kitchen staff on whole foods culinary techniques and basic natural foods ingredients. She conducted after-school family nutrition seminars, which included with healthy snacks for the kids and recipe cards for the parents. Kimberly also created a series of school newsletters and publications on healthy eating and family nutrition that were sent home. Working collaboratively with the school’s kitchen staff she contributed to development of a rotating school menu including local, organic, plant-based breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
The Many Hats of Kimberley Stakal
Food writer, recipe developer and editor, consultant and educator, personal chef, and culinary content producer, wine buyer, and Associate Marketer and Community Relations Specialist, Kimberley Stakal has at one time or another worn these hats within the last eight years. In in 2007 she graduated with a health-supportive culinary degree from New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute. Natural Gourmet Institute offer interactive and dynamic Certificate Programs, designed to give students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience and expertise in the areas of Culinary Nutrition, Culinary Cooking for People with Illness, Sustainable Farming, Raw and Living Foods, Food Entrepreneurship and Writing for Food Media. The institute seemed like the perfect fit for Kimberly considering the trajectory of her career.
Kimberley has undertaken a number of interesting and challenging projects ranging from cooking for and testing recipes for the actress Alicia Silverstone, who advocates a eco chic green living philosophy, developing recipes for food businesses and magazines, to building content and editorial development of lifestyle-focused websites; editing the content/ copy for cookbooks and recipe databases, as well as being a contributing writer for publications such as the Organic Authority (see her posts at http://www.organicauthority.com/author/kim.). This young woman's enthusiasm and hard work is inspiring to say the least. A friend who was reading about Kimberly Stakal commented that she reminded him of the team of people who were tasked to customize Salesforce crm for his large company. Explain we replied. I hired RTS Labs to help my IT team optimize our Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) system. These young people came in and blew us away with their approach of constructing out-of-the-box answers to solve our needs. They were a self-managed and self-motivated team who started by looking at what our objectives were and becoming acquainted with our company and our business challenges. They listened, problem solved, educated us, and improved our business processes with well-developed, customized, and integrated cloud-computing applications. They really impressed me, as does Kimberly.