Denver Public Schools students are feasting fancy this school year as the district rolls out a team of professionally trained chefs to refresh and refine cafeteria menus.
Mojo pork shoulder with black bean salad; roasted chicken with homemade biscuits; carnitas tacos and bánh mì sandwiches — those are just some of the meals offered at DPS schools, a far cry from the “Mystery Meat Mondays” of my adolescence.
Earlier this year, DPS contracted Brigaid, a Connecticut-based food services provider, to deploy 12 chefs into the Denver school district to redesign school menus and train cafeteria staff accordingly.
Just how good are these chefs? Well for starters, Brigaid was founded by Dan Giusti, a former head chef at Noma in Copenhagen, long considered the world’s best restaurant. His team comprises six out-of-state chefs and six local culinary pros from Denver restaurants like Cart-Driver and Olive & Finch (two of my personal favorites).
That’s not to say DPS menus were unimpressive before this. The district has been making more than half of its schools’ meals from scratch for the last decade, as well as offering a wide variety of globally-inspired food for their ethnically diverse student body. But the goal with Brigaid is to become one of the first districts in the country to make 100% of its school meals from scratch. Brigaid chefs will gradually make their way through all DPS schools in the next three years.
The district plans to cover the $3.7 million bill for the program with city and nonprofit grants.
[5280; Denver Post]
🌡️ Put your cardigan away. It may be fall, but it still feels like summer. Today will be sunny with highs near 81.
— Peyton Garcia, (@peytonmgarcia)