Casey and I on the roof, adorned in our chef gear
For the last five weeks, I have been interning with my friend and peer, Casey, at the Calhoun School for the food service rotation of our dietetic internship. The school serves breakfast and lunch everyday to a population of kindergarten through twelfth grade students. The chef, Chef Bobo, is wonderful and cares very much about the ingredients, healthfulness, and quality of the food he gives the students.
The chefs in the kitchen rotate positions planning out a menu every 10 days, giving everyone in the kitchen a chance to create a unique menu. My typical day at the school starts with breakfast, usually oatmeal with raisins, house-made granola, yogurt, and coffee. After breakfast, I help with lunch prep, prep for the following day’s lunch, or party prep.
Radishes from the rooftop garden
The school has a rooftop garden, so some days, Casey and I go up to the roof to harvest salad greens and herbs. A few days a week, I help serve the lunch line. I spend the majority of my day in the kitchen helping prep and cook, which really makes me miss my old life as a pastry cook working in restaurants. To me, there is nothing better than washing, peeling, chopping, and cooking in a well-stocked kitchen while I hang out with other cooks and kitchen staff.
Part of my role as a dietetic intern in food service is to learn how to analyze the nutrition and cost of a menu and to make sure food is safe to eat by understanding the flow of food from purchasing to receiving, storing, cooking, holding, cooling, reheating, and serving.
Casey and I, along with one of the chefs in the kitchen, also prepared a table for the school’s health fair where we sampled three different brownies made with healthy ingredients–avocado, black bean, and beet. We cut the brownies into tiny shapes and had students and faculty taste and try to identify which healthy brownie was which (thanks to some of our peers in class for the idea!). Another task that Casey and I helped with was conducting some food safety trainings for the kitchen staff on cross-contamination with gluten and on cleaning the “nooks and crannies” of the kitchen.
Chef Mark, myself, and Casey at the school’s health fair
It has been a fabulous five weeks. I am sad to leave, and a large part of that has to do with how much I will miss all of the fresh, cooked-from-scratch food I ate for lunch. Check out some of the amazing school lunch meals that I ate below. I really piled it on. Continue reading