D.C. Farm to School Week Kick-off Event!

Beets, carrots, kale and apples - those were the seasonal ingredients used by the four competing chefs to make salads at the D.C. Farm to School Week Kick-off Event on Monday October 4th!  Over 150 students, community members, local and national leaders joined us for a fun and delicious afternoon.  White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses emcee'd the chef demonstration, while Pat Dombroski, Administrator of the USDA Food & Nutrition Service Mid Atlantic Regional Office, State Superintendent of Education Hosana Mahaley and National Farm to School Network Director Anupama Joshi also spoke to the importance of healthy eating, supporting local farmers, and engaging students in the farm-to-table process.

The event took place at Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School, a high-performing law themed high school in Southeast Washington, DC.  Special guest, White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, emcee'd the chef competition!  Once Chef Bill started the timer, chefs and their student assistants whipped up salads for the judges using school garden produce, a "pantry" of items from Whole Foods, and their special seasonal ingredients.

Chef Lauren Von Der Pool, the "Queen of Green" and her student assistant won over the judges' taste buds with their tangy kale dish.  Chef Kyle Bailey from Birch & Barley mixed up a kickin' beet salad (using beets from Arcadia Farms!); Chef Will Artley from the Evening Star Cafe put together a colorful carrot salad; and Chef Todd Wiss from Radius Pizza whipped up a great apple dish.  The event concluded with student-led tours of Thurgood Marshall Academy and neighboring Savoy Elementary's shared school garden.  

The kick-off event marked the start of D.C. Farm to School Week October 3-7, 2011 - a celebration of seasonal, local food in Washington, DC schools.  October is also National Farm to School Month!  Many thanks to all of the wonderful staff and volunteers who helped make the event a success, and to the D.C. Farm to School Network at Arcadia, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education and Whole Foods Markets for coordinating the kick-off.

Photos by Sarah Bernardi

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