Using local ingredients from Connecticut farms as well as items from Wilton High School's student-grown garden, Chef Luis cooked up garden-fresh pizzas during farm-to-chef week at Wilton High School.
Chef Luis, who is part of the Chartwells School Dining Services’ team, prepared several varieties of pizza including fresh mozzarella with basil and fresh mushrooms with arugula.
“We try to support our community and local farmers as much as possible, buying their produce and featuring the fresh ingredients in our recipes,” said Michelle Sagristano, a registered dietitian at Chartwells in a release.
“Using local ingredients in our scratch cooking allows us to enhance the nutritional value while keeping the great taste of students’ favorite meals," added Sagristano.
Key ingredients Chef Luis used in making the pizzas came from Wilton High School's "Wilton Organic Garden."
Science teacher Jim Hunter and his dedicated team of students have nurtured the garden throughout the growing season.
Other homegrown recipes prepared and served during farm-to-chef week included "breakfast-for-lunch" omelets with local farm fresh eggs and fresh veggies, pasta puttanesca with a garden mixed green salad and a peach crisp dessert.
Chef Luis is part of the Chefs-2-Schools® program, which leverages the talents and expertise of Chartwells’ chefs in order to deliver healthy nutrition education in a fun and appealing way to students. Under Chefs-2-Schools, guest chefs 'adopt' a local school district and make planned visits to focus on healthy meals and educate students about sound eating habits and food preparation.
“I think it’s a real treat for students to see how their school meals are prepared...It helps them to understand not only where their meal comes from, but learn how it’s nutritionally healthier for them,” said Brian Reynolds, Chartwells Foodservice Director at Wilton School District, in the release.
Chartwells is a division of Charlotte, NC-based Compass Group, provides dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools, comprising over 6,000 separate elementary, middle and high schools nationwide.