CCF Newsletter - Summer 2010

Spotlight on…Ann Cooper

Ann Cooper is a celebrated author, chef, educator and advocate for healthy food for all children. In a nation where children are born with shorter estimated life expectancies than their parents because of diet-related illness, Cooper is a relentless voice of reform by focusing on the links between food, family, farming, and children’s health and wellness.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y., Cooper has been a chef for more than 30 years. She has been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and Time Magazine, and has appeared on National Public Radio’s “Living on Earth,” ABC’s Nightline, CNN, the CBS Morning Show and many other media outlets. Ann is the author of four books: Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children (2006), In Mother’s Kitchen: Celebrated Women Chefs Share Beloved Family Recipes (2005), Bitter Harvest: A Chef’s Perspective on the Hidden Dangers in the Foods We Eat and What You Can do About It (2000) and A Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen: The Evolution of Women Chefs (1998). She is past president of the American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont, and past president and board member of Women’s Chefs and Restaurateurs, headquartered in Louisville, Ky. She also served on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board, a Congressional appointment, and was an executive committee member of Chefs Collaborative—all in an effort to raise awareness about the value of healthful, seasonal, organic and regional foods.

Cooper’s career shifted from primarily cooking to a path of cooking, writing, and public speaking—all advocacy work for a healthier food system. There is no doubt that she is an accomplished chef; however, her focus now is on using her skills and background to create a sustainable model for schools nationwide to transition processed food based K-12 school meal programs to a whole foods environment where food is procured regionally and prepared from scratch. In 2009, Cooper founded Food Family Farming Foundation (F3), a nonprofit focusing on solutions to the school food crisis. F3’s pivotal project is The Lunch Box, a Web site that provides free and accessible tools, recipes and community connections to support school food reform.

Local Chapter Corner

Chapter Involvement

The support of ACF chapters is needed to accomplish the goals and projects we have set in motion for CCF. Please get involved in your community. You can use one of the programs we have available online or create your own. Most importantly, if you are doing a fundraiser for a charity in your area, please register the recipient with the Chef & Child Foundation through the national office. This will allow donors to receive a tax break and protect your chapter from breaking tax laws. Download the revised fundraising form and e-mail it to, or mail it to ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, FL 32095.

Annual CCF Awards - Deadline June 15

CCF honors and recognizes chapters and individuals annually who showcase our mission by presenting them with awards.

The Little Oscar Award recognizes chapters who have put forth exceptional effort to advance the mission and goals of the CCF in its fights against hunger, malnutrition and obesity. It is a reflection of a chapter’s involvement in facilitating programs to provide education in childhood nutrition and decreasing childhood obesity now and in the future. Download the application.

The True Spirit Award is presented to an individual or ACF chapter who has demonstrated extraordinary efforts to aid children. Download the application.

The Michael Ty Endowment Fund provides a scholarship for an ACF chef who has dedicated hours to fighting childhood hunger or teaching children about nutrition for lifelong good health. The recipient of the award will have a donation made to a charity of his/her choice, in his/her name. Download the application.

Join Us at ACF National Convention

CCF Service Day: From the Kitchen to the Community, Saturday, July 31

Come early to the 2010 ACF National Convention and support the Chef & Child Foundation’s first national service day for low income families in Anaheim, Calif., July 31. The day will start with a welcome reception at the Anaheim Marriott followed by going into the community and leading nutritional activities for local families. We are seeking volunteers to participate in this exciting endeavor. Contact to volunteer or for more information.

Nutrition Seminars

Here’s a taste of the Nutrition seminars at the 2010 ACF National Convention presented in partnership with the Chef & Child Foundation. CCF plays a substanial role in securing these presenters and underwriting the seminars. Details on the seminars will be on the ACF Web site on the convention schedule, as they become available.

Fiber-Benefits for Consumers Challenges for Chefs: Fiber promises to provide you with a healthy heart, a happy digestive system, cancer prevention, weight management assistance and many other health benefits. As chefs, we want to provide this package in a tasty morsel. Attendees will be introduced to the types of fiber, food sources of fiber and ultimately how to incorporate more fiber into recipes. Join the fiber campaign as we explore its culinary versatility, meet the challenge and commit to serving more fiber. Presented by Maj. Julie Rylander, RD, Joint Culinary Center of Excellence dietician, U.S. Army.

Tsunami of Sickness…Seeking Higher Ground: Join internationally recognized culinary television personality and award-winning author Graham Kerr as he shares his message, and methods to help to convert habits that harm into resources that heal. Kerr will use his 60-year career filled with responsive changes to suggest an upstream strategy for chefs to become the style-leaders in changes we must now address as a nation at risk of being overwhelmed by sickness. Presented by Graham Kerr, HAAC.

Sanitation—The A To Z Food Safety Certification System: The A to Z Food Safety Certification System has been carefully structured to promote the essential principles of food safety and environmental sanitation. The primary objective is to prepare course attendees for successful completion of the ServSafe Examination. Presented by Abraham Wilson, Mr. Food Safety.

Clemson University Partnership

CU Chefs ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation and Clemson University have partnered to offer a free, monthly nutrition articles for chefs, educators, nutritionists and the foodservice industry. These articles provide up-to-date professionally, researched information on the latest in culinary nutrition trends. Topics pinpoint information chefs need to offer healthier foods and positively impact the health of their consumers.

Culinary Nutrition News

Culinary Nutrition News articles are free and available for download the first Monday of each month. Download articles, share with colleagues or click the “Send to a friend” button and share with family, friends and peers. Download these articles and build your personal nutrition library. Sponsored by French’s Foodservice.

Ingredient of the Month

The nutritional Ingredient of the Month is a free downloadable guide featuring a new nutritional ingredient for chefs to incorporate into their menus. Available the first Monday of the month, the downloadable guide will provide an in-depth look the latest in nutrition ingredients. Download these articles, share with colleagues and start creating your nutritional recipe collection.

Chef & Child Foundation and Hattie Mae & Pals Foundation

CCF Chairwoman Elizabeth Mikesell, CEC, AAC, attended and represented CCF with a booth at the Gulf Coast Mayor’s Meeting on Childhood Obesity in Gulfport, Miss., March 26. The event was hosted by the Hattie Mae & Pals Foundation and unveiled its National Call to Action Campaign that includes a tri-county, fresh fruits and vegetable school outreach program.

Hattie Mae & Pals Foundation

Building a Better Me Program: Our program is about America’s First Fruits…Our Children: The spirit of a child is nurtured in early childhood, the most precious years of a child’s life. Hattie Mae & Pals Foundation’s mission is to educate and entertain children on the value of being healthy and strong.

Our 2012 Building Project

Hattie Mae & Pals Wellness Complex will be the first childhood obesity center in the nation consisting of a 60,000 sq. ft. facility. The center will dazzle children using animated characters, as they invite children to come into their magical world and venture on a mission to build healthy lives.

Keep the Beat™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners

Do you know what’s for dinner tonight? Take out the guesswork with Keep the Beat™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Dinners, an exciting new cookbook from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health. The cookbook features 75 healthy, simple, and delicious recipes; color photographs; and helpful tips for shopping and preparing these recipes at home. Dishes were created by a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef/instructor and a James Beard Foundation award-winning registered dietitian with guidance from an NHLBI nutrition educator and registered dietitian. The recipes are limited in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium, as well as moderate in calories and include American, Latino, Mediterranean, and Asian flavors. To download the recipes and more information, visit

Suggested Family-Friendly Recipes

  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Oven Crusted Chicken Breast
  • Cornbread Crusted Turkey
  • Turkey Club Burger
  • Baked Salmon Dijon
  • Teriyaki Glazed Salmon with Stir Fried Vegetables
  • Grilled Tuna with Chickpeas and Spinach Salad
  • Pork Chops in Warm Cherry Sauce
  • Pork Mignons with French Applesauce
  • Classic Macaroni and Cheese
  • Caribbean Casserole
  • Red Beans and Rice
  • Corn and Black Bean Burritos
  • Broccoli with Asian Tofu
  • Caribbean Pink Beans
  • Edamame Stew
  • Baby Spinach with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts
  • Roasted Beets with Orange Sauce
  • Autumn Salad
  • Cinnamon Glazed Baby Carrots
  • Creamy Squash Soup with Shredded Apples
  • Couscous with Carrots, Walnuts, and Raisins
  • Good-for-you-Cornbread
  • Parmesan Rice and Pasta Pilaf

Chef Ann Cooper Urges Parents to Demand Healthy Funding Boost for Child Nutrition Act

Renegade Lunch Lady Launches Letter-Writing Campaign: One More Dollar for Healthy School Food

The Child Nutrition Act, slated for reauthorization this year, serves up a rare opportunity for healthier funding of school lunches. Chef Ann Cooper, aka the Renegade Lunch Lady, in partnership with Slow Food USA, Roots of Change, Healthy Schools Campaign, and AllergyKids Foundation, is rallying a million moms and dads to write Congress demanding an additional subsidy of $1 per lunch. Cooper is providing templates of letters [] requesting a budget increase to underwrite real (not highly processed) food for school kids: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, clean proteins and natural dairy products, with a priority on regionally produced food. This letter-writing campaign launches on the heels of the Obama administration’s proposed $1 billion budget increase for school lunch subsidies. Cooper and her allies say this increase is not enough to feed our children well.

“We have the opportunity to make a positive impact and teach children about healthy food choices, which will influence their long-term health,” said Cooper. “The Child Nutrition Act has not changed in 15 years and the time to help 31 million schoolchildren is now.” The Child Nutrition Act, reauthorized every five years, pays $12 billion to feed breakfast and lunch to schoolchildren, averaging only $2.68 per day for each child. Cooper and numerous nonprofit organizations and health-conscious companies are calling for an increase in funding—a dollar a day per student—dedicated 100 percent to food that promotes better health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the most commonly diagnosed medical condition of childhood and is a risk factor for many other diseases, including high blood pressure, asthma and type 2 diabetes. Constituents can find the advocacy letter template at and view informational videos.

Food, Family, Farming Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization changing the food system in the U.S. to an ecologically sound, sustainable model. By empowering schools, families, farms and producers to operate in a sustainable fashion, F3 enables schools to serve nutritious whole food to all students. F3 educates through its free web portal F3’s founding partners are Chez Panisse Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Colorado Health Foundation and Whole Foods Market. Visit

New Study Proves Kids Like Eating Healthy Food

Preliminary report from the Harvard School of Public Health reveals students prefer healthy school meals

Think your kids won’t eat healthy foods? Think again. A preliminary report of the Chefs in Schools Initiative by the Harvard School of Public Health, funded by Project Bread, proves that kids not only like healthy school meals, but actually eat more of the healthy foods than they would if they were eating a traditional school meal.

The study sought to analyze the value of the Chefs in Schools Initiative, which was launched by Project Bread in 2007 with the help of the Office of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Boston Public Schools, and the Boston Public Health Commission. The concept behind the Initiative was simple: over 74% of the nearly 56,000 Boston public school children qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, which include breakfast and lunch. Clearly, many of these children come from families that struggle to put food on the table, making these children especially vulnerable to hunger and under-nutrition. The Initiative sought to make cutting-edge nutrition available to these children as an ordinary part of their school day.

To accomplish this, the partnership hired Chef Kirk Conrad, a master chef ad graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, to work with the Lilla G. Frederick Middle School in Dorchester and the Mario Umana Middle School in East Boston. Chef Kirk, as Conrad is known by all, was charged with serving healthy, cost-effective meals that kids love to eat and creating an environment that signaled to kids, their teachers, and parents that school meals were crucial to their overall health and learning. Chef Kirk’s menus feature fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats—and remove excess fat, sodium, and sugar. These healthy meals are cooked from scratch, using fresh ingredients and herbs to enhance taste, by Conrad who has also trained a willing kitchen staff in his techniques and who regularly test the palatability new dishes with their students as they would guests in a restaurant.

As the final step in the rollout of the Initiative, the Healthy Lunch Study analyzed the results of this innovative program. The study compared Boston middle schools receiving the district’s traditional school lunch with the middle schools participating in the Chefs in Schools Initiative who received the healthy lunch. Results were collected from 3,188 trays and researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health stated their preliminary findings as significant:

  • Over three times as many students ate the vegetables at the Chefs schools as compared with the control schools.
  • Among students who ate vegetables, students at the Chefs schools ate on average about 30% more of their vegetables.
  • When only 1% white milk was served instead of chocolate milk, students still drank the same amount of milk.
  • Meals had over 50% more whole grains at the Chefs schools compared with the control schools.
  • Food waste was significantly reduced in Chefs schools. The study revealed that while 1/3 of the food from traditional lunches was thrown out uneaten in the control schools, only 1/5 of the food was uneaten in the Chefs schools.
  • Participation in the school lunch program was 17% higher in the Chefs schools, meaning that more students ate lunch that was federally reimbursed.
  • Preliminary findings of the Healthy Lunch Study concludes that serving flavorful, appealing school meals can improve student nutrition while increasing school lunch participation—a factor that’s also important both for cash-strapped school districts. The program has been so successful that the Chefs in Schools Initiative is expanding into eight Boston Public Schools—including a high school where graduates from the Lilla Frederick and the Umana Academy organized to demand better food.

“It’s rewarding to see the benefits of the Chefs in Schools program in action,” said Ellen Parker, executive director of Project Bread. “This Initiative is a unique opportunity to provide low-income children with cutting-edge nutrition that helps them succeed in the classroom while learning healthful lifelong eating habits.”

About Project Bread

As the state’s leading anti hunger organization, Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. Through The Walk for Hunger, the oldest continual pledge walk in the country, Project Bread provides millions of dollars each year in privately donated funds to over 400 emergency food programs in 135 communities statewide. Project Bread also advocates systemic solutions that prevent hunger in children and that provide food to families in natural, everyday settings. The organization has invested millions of dollars in grants to community organizations that feed children where they live, learn, and play. For more information, visit

Programs and Tools

Need an idea for an awareness activity to implement in your community? The That’s Fresh Kids Cooking program has recently been rewritten and is now available for download. Hit a Homerun for NutritionWhat You Eat…It’s Up To You is a nutrition DVD using Chef Tokie, the talking hat, and is a terrific tool to teach children about making good food choices.

Check out the programs section for more information and see how other chapters raised awareness in their community. More

Support Our Mission

The ACFEF Chef & Child Foundation relies on the support of generous sponsors and donors to continue to fulfill its mission “to educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition through community-based initiatives led by American Culinary Federation chef members and to be the voice of the culinary industry in its fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity.”

Donate online, by calling (800) 624-9458, ext. 102, or by mailing a check to Chef & Child Foundation, 180 Center Place Way, St. Augustine, Florida 32095.

Meet the Chef & Child Foundation Board

  • Elizabeth Mikesell, CEC, AAC, Chairwoman
  • Phil Cragg, CEC, CCE, AAC, Communication
  • Brad Everett, Education
  • Ira Fingerman, Fundraising
  • Jean Hull, CCE, AAC, Liaison
  • Lynn Krause, CEPC, AAC, Central Region Chair
  • D’Aun Carrell, Central Region Co-Chair
  • Phil Cragg, CEC, CCE, AAC, Northeast Region Chair
  • Kyle Shadix, CCC, MS, RD, Northeast Region Co-Chair
  • John Maxwell, CCE, CEC, AAC, Southeast Region Chair
  • Malika Robins, CEC, FMP, Southeast Region Co-Chair
  • Patti Curfman, CEC, CEPC, AAC, Western Region Chair
  • Joe Eidem, CEC, AAC, Western Region Co-Chair