Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cook’s Warehouse founder Mary S. Moore @ The White House

Mary S. Moore and Barbara Petit

Mary Moore visits The White House

For “Chefs Move to Schools”

ATLANTA, June 9, 2010 – Mary S. Moore, founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse, Friday (June 4) joined chefs from Atlanta and around the country on the South Lawn of the White House to launch the “Chefs Move to Schools” program of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign.

The aim of Let’s Move! is to end childhood obesity within a generation. The Chefs Move to Schools program is an outreach opportunity for chefs around the country to adopt a local school to help solve the childhood obesity epidemic.

Moore traveled to the capital with a group of 31 chefs representing 12 U.S. chapters and Canada from Les Dames d'Escoffier International, including:

· Virginia Willis, renowned chef and author of “Bon Appétit, Y’all”

· Cathy Conway, owner of Avalon Catering

· Barbara Petit, director of the local food initiative of Georgia Organics

· Gina Hopkins and Linton Hopkins, owners of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House, and

· Former Atlantan Nathalie Dupree, now living in Charleston, SC, but still immersed in the culinary industry

Les Dames is a worldwide philanthropic society of professional woman leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. Moore is the current treasurer of the international organization and incoming first vice president in October of this year.

Moore said, “Our day at the White House was extremely motivating. To be in the presence of so many other chefs committed to this initiative and to have the First Lady support our efforts was profoundly moving. I know together we can mitigate childhood obesity.”

The Cook’s Warehouse has a long history of supporting the farm-to-school movement through community gardens and cooking classes. In November of 2009 it expanded its commitment with a daylong seminar for Decatur City Schools’ cafeteria staff, demonstrating fresh-food cooking skills and talking about farm-to-school opportunities. The second class in this series is later this month.

Mrs. Obama addressed the assembled chefs and thanked them for coming to Washington. Among her remarks:

“We are going to need everyone’s time and talent to solve the childhood obesity epidemic and our nation’s chefs have tremendous power as leaders on this issue because of their deep knowledge of food and nutrition and their standing in the community. I want to thank them for joining the Let’s Move! campaign.

“Chefs Move to Schools will pair chefs with schools in their communities to bring fun to fruits and vegetables, and teach kids about food, nutrition and cooking in an engaging way. And by working with school food-service employees, administrators and teachers, chefs can help deliver these messages from the cafeteria to the classroom. After hearing fifth graders cheer for broccoli, I know firsthand that chefs can have a huge impact on kids’ health and well being.

You know the joy of cooking for others, that passion that you get, the sense of camaraderie, the understanding and fulfillment that comes with seeing folks gathering around a dinner table, not just enjoying a meal, but enjoying fellowship. That is power.

“You know the central role that food plays in the moments that make us happiest. Food is always there, whether it’s at a birthday party, or Thanksgiving dinner, or quiet moments with friends. Food is at the core of what makes life wonderful.”

The Chefs Move to Schools is led by Sam Kass, White House sous chef and the food initiative coordinator. He oversaw the groundbreaking of the White House Kitchen Garden more than a year ago where local students have spent time on the South Lawn planting seeds, harvesting vegetables and learning about health and nutrition along the way.

“Through the garden, the First Lady started a discussion on the role food plays in living a healthy life. The discussion grew into the Let’s Move! campaign and like the garden, we just keep on growing.

“Today, I’m excited to announce the Chefs Move to Schools program – an opportunity for chefs around the country to adopt a local school to help solve the childhood obesity epidemic,” said Kass.

Chefs and schools that are interested in participating can sign up through

The Cook’s Warehouse ( ) is greater Atlanta’s premier gourmet cookware store and cooking school with three locations in Midtown, Decatur and Brookhaven. It offers more than 15,000 products for the kitchen and operates the largest avocational cooking school in the Southeast, conducting more than 600 classes yearly, often taught by local chefs, and has a large web-based delivery-by-post site.

Owned and operated by founder Mary S. Moore, The Cook’s Warehouse also retails high-end appliances; conducts private cooking classes for unique celebrations and corporate events, and is a pro bono partner with virtually every major cooking event and gourmet association in Atlanta.

From Jim Brams