The mission of ACFEF’s Chef & Child initiative is to educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition by providing tools and resources for community-based programs led by American Culinary Federation chef members. There are several ways to get involved:
- Contact the local Chef & Child chair in your chapter, or be the leader and start a Chef & Child committee in your chapter.
- Work with community partners to host outreach events with nutrition stations.
- Partner with a local school or after-school program for demos.
- Use one of our programs or create your own.
The support of ACF chapters is needed to accomplish the goals and
projects we have set in motion for Chef & Child. Please get involved in your
community. Most importantly, if you
are doing a fundraiser for a charity in your area, please register the
event with the national office if your chapter does not have its own 501(c)3 status. This will allow donors to receive a tax break and protect your
chapter from breaking tax laws. We kindly ask for a small portion of the proceeds to go the Chef & Child initiative for administrative costs.
Cedarhurst Elementary School Students Learn About Veggies
Brandon LaVielle, CCC, visited Cedarhurst Elementary School in Burien, Washington, for a Chef & Child event on April 15, 2015. Students from all grade levels learned about the importance of eating healthy foods and how it pertains to their day-to-day lives. The kids enjoyed making fresh vegetable skewers with bright-colored vegetables. They dipped them in a low-fat Greek yogurt ranch sauce and a honey balsamic dipping sauce that were very popular. The kids also personalized their chef hats with colors and pictures.
Summer Cooking Camp
Elizabeth Mikesell, CEC, AAC, special programs ambassador/past chair, Chef & Child Foundation, helps organize a Kids Summer Cooking Camp each year, currently in its fifth year. The kids work with chefs to create healthy, delicious edibles in a teaching kitchen. View Video
Brandon LaVielle, ACF Washington State Chefs Association, and his team participated in the “Restaurant Possible” week at West Seattle Family YMCA’s Trek summer camp. Fifth- and 6th-grade campers learned about nutritious food options. Campers colored their white paper chef hat and were encouraged to try a vegetable that corresponded to a color on their hat. They also learned about adding herbs to dishes for flavor.
Welcome to the Hilton Kitchen
Jorge Ramirez, CEC, and Thuan Nygun, members of ACF Orange Empire Chefs & Professional Cooks Assn, invited students from Chavez Elementary School to the kitchen at Hilton Hotel, Long Beach, Calif., to make delicious grilled vegetables wrapped in a sun-dried tomato flour tortilla. The students mentioned that there were some ingredients that they had never tried before and have now encouraged their parents to use them at home.
Make School Lunch Healthier
Michael Stephan and Crystal Ramiro partnered with the Corpus Christi School District in Texas to motivate students to try the new lunch options offered in the local schools. The chefs demonstrated a healthier Chicken Alfredo Pasta from the lunch menu to high school students. There was a mixed response, but the next day, they ran out of the dish in the cafeteria!
Let’s Make a Deal!
During a recent school event, a third grader tried to strike up a deal with John Selick, CEC, ACF Cleveland Chapter, to get more vegetables!
Chef Challenge 2014
Child Nutrition Services managers and staff, local chefs and ACFEF apprentices partnered to create new recipes for high-school cafeterias. In a made-for-TV-style cook off, teams invented tasty, nutritious, affordable, easy-to-prepare and kid-friendly entrees. View Video
Chef & Child Event in Savannah
ACF Savannah Chefs Association hosted a great Chef & Child event for over 755 kids, 87 teachers and 50 guests at Garden City Elementary outside of Savannah, Ga. They had support from over 35 chef and student volunteers from local restaurants, hotels, as well as students and instructors from Savannah Tech Culinary School and Virginia College. The menu was well received by kids and teachers and featured several Chef & Child recipes including Chocolate Kissed Cupcakes and Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese.
Ingredient of the Month
SSG Andrew Nicholson, CEC, PCC, CWPC, conducted hands-on culinary demonstrations at Montclair Elementary School using Chef & Child’s Ingredient of the Month toolkit. Students were excited to learn about new ingredients each month.
Jeff Gratton, Granite school district chef, Tysen Fausett, principle and Efrain Carrasco, kitchen manager, took a regular cafeteria menu item, teriyaki beef stir fry, and turned it into a live action show inside the lunchroom at Woodrow Wilson Elementary.
The Detroit Three
Chefs Joe Nader, Jake Williams, CEC, and Scott Breazeale joined together as “The Detroit Three” to host unique events while serving the city with a philanthropic twist. Their focus is children, hunger, and food access in Detroit while partnering with the hospitality, art, and music communities. The goal is to provide a great evening of food while promoting awareness and raising money for Cooking Matters and ACF’s Chef & Child Foundation.
As part of a Health Jam initiative, Chef talked to the students about kitchen safety and demonstrated Green Bean Casserole Sushi. The students were able to roll their own sushi and then divided into groups to prepare four different recipes for a buffet that they enjoyed as lunch. All recipes were from the Chef & Child Ingredient of the Month toolkit.
Bob Roebuck, CEC, AAC, partnered with Marilyn Shirey, cafeteria manager, Shallow Brook Intermediate School, Kimberly Alessandroni, director, Child Nutrition Services, Jessica Lindren, Jones-Penn State Dietetic Intern and student helpers Connor Kister and Delaney Resto, to prepare a healthy apple crisp for 450 students.
Kindergarteners Can Cook, Too
Chef Reenie Werr works with North Texas Leadership Academy in Keller, Texas, to teach kindergarteners about making healthy food choices. She also implemented a garden at the school.
Mike Speranza, CEC, ACF Professional Chefs/Cooks Assn of Rochester, assisted in judging and coaching the chili cook-off at The Young Women’s College Prep School in Rochester, N.Y. The class was taught by DarLyn Poachan, also an ACF chapter member, and sponsored by Foodlink of Rochester. The objective of the course is to teach young, less-privileged women basic cooking skills.
Michael Garahan, CEC, ACF Louis Joliet Chapter, prepared smoothies for students of Sandlewood High School. He received the Vitamix blender as part of an ACF/Vitamix partnership for hosting an event in support of Childhood Nutrition Day.
Chef & Child Programs
Need an idea for an awareness activity to implement in your
community? Check out our Programs
Let Us Know
Please e-mail us to
let us know what type of awareness you generated in your community.
Please include any details or photos that we can feature on the website
to show the impact of the activities.
CCF honors and recognizes chapters and individuals annually who
showcase our mission by presenting them with awards. The deadline for
award applications is June 15. For more information, go to the Awards section.