Chef Michelle Bernstein Schools the Lunch Ladies of North Miami Senior High

Categories: Food News
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John Zur
Chef Michelle Bernstein showing.
On Friday, local chefs Michelle Bernstein, Kris Wessel, and Ken Lyon simultaneously ran workshops in three high schools to introduce their partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Short Order followed Bernstein to North Miami Senior High, where she led the school's cafeteria staff in preparing a new, healthier menu, which is vailable today as the school year kicks off.

Before she got to work on the Asian chicken veggie wrap with sides of zucchini slaw and sweet potatoes, she addressed the media and staff. "I'm not leaving. I went to this high school. I graduated. I moved around, but came back... I'll always come back... You're going to see a lot of me." It's a promise that she, Wessel, and Lyon enthusiastically made when presented with the opportunity earlier this year. The hope is that more chefs will partner with local schools.

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John Zur
Cafeteria Manager Nachelle Williams.
The menu items resulting from the chef partnership are the first of several options that North Miami Senior High, Miami Jackson Senior High, and Miami Edison Senior High will offer students this year. As the school year progresses, students enrolled in Family & Consumer Sciences or culinary Programs will work with the chefs.

Penny Parham, administrative director, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Department of Food & Nutrition, also notes rthere will be reimbursable vending machines this year. They will alleviate long lines and dispense nutritious sandwiches, wraps, salads, and their sides for $2.50.

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John Zur
Asian Chicken Veggie Wrap with Zucchini Slaw and Sweet Potato
Cafeteria manager Nachelle Williams oversees the 1200 lunches per day. She notes staples such as pizza, burgers, and chicken sandwiches will be served.

Chef Bernstein hopes this workshop educates the lunch ladies on cooking and using ingredients to their greatest value. "You don't have to manipulate the food for the the kids to appreciate it," she says. 

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