September 1, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
At today’s Women in Green Forum, I had the pleasure of meeting Kathleen de Chadenèdes, Director of the s’Cool Initiative, a project of the Orfalea Foundations, who spoke about her organization’s efforts to make fresh local food available to Santa Barbara County schools in order to encourage children to make healthy food choices throughout their lives. Chadenèdes identifies herself as a chef first, then as a sustainable food advocate. She describes her life’s work as making delicious food from locally-sourced ingredients in a way which honors the environment and the dignity of those who produce it and consume it.
According to s’Cool, their Farm to Cafeteria component has a simple objective: to connect local farmers with school kitchens. With an abundance of agricultural products and farms of all sizes, Santa Barbara County serves as an ideal location for this effort. They do this by partnering with organizations such as the Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Sustainability, with whom they run several school gardens.
To teach cafeteria staff how to prepare healthful meals, the s’Cool Food Initiative runs week-long culinary training events called Culinary Boot Camps for food service staff across Santa Barbara County. Working directly with Chef Educators and their peers, attendees practice the skills required for integrating more scratch cooking techniques into their school kitchens.
Stay tuned for more about this terrific organization.
Photos courtesy of s’Cool Initiative.