Monday, August 2, 2010


From Jim Brams of Cook's Warehouse


Locally Grown, Freshly Prepared Meals

for Decatur Schoolchildren

ATLANTA, August 2, 2010 – Mary Moore, founder and CEO of The Cook’s Warehouse, hosted the second half-day Farm-to-School “cooking workshop” for cafeteria workers from the City Schools of Decatur.

Brad Bryant, Georgia State Department of Education superintendent, was among those who addressed the group after breakfast. Mr. Bryant related how he had observed the same type of program in Baltimore, run by a local chef, and told the cafeteria work force how vital they were to education since healthy school meals have changed the learning curve of young eaters.

Also addressing the group:

· Amanda Dew Manning, program manager of the Georgia state School Nutrition Program;

· Erin Croome, Farm-to-School coordinator of Georgia Organics;

· Meagan Mohammadione, clinical dietician of the Emory Bariatric Center, and

· Anujah Bata of Destiny Organics

After breakfast, Moore led the hands-on session with Megan McCarthy, a healthy lifestyle consultant and chef, and Seth Freedman, a chef and personal culinary services provider, in a presentation of quick and tasty, low-fat/healthy recipes that adapt well to large numbers, including:

· Chicken, watermelon and feta salad

· Roasted fresh tomato sauce over pasta

· Oven-roasted chicken with tomato jus and mashed potatoes

· Apple and Blueberry cobblers with whipped cream

The recipes use low-fat ingredients and culinary tricks, such as whipping the potatoes with freshly made chicken stock instead of butter or milk, and the use of fresh herbs to allow full-flavor dishes with a lower salt content. The three dozen attendees prepared all the recipes and ate them for lunch afterward.

The first class in the series last November began with pre-cooking skills including professional and safe knife handling and seasoning food properly.

This new Decatur school-lunch program is a joint project of Matthew Rao of Rao Design Studio; The Cook's Warehouse; Georgia Organics, and the Atlanta Chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier International. It is meant to teach easy, efficient and inspired cooking to those front-line cafeteria workers who feed our children one or two meals, five days a week.

The recent attention to healthy school lunches began with UK Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver (Food TV’s “Naked Chef”) who just hosted the ABC-TV program “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” in West Virginia. He began his drive in the UK when he learned that this generation of British schoolchildren was the first in decades not expected to live as long as their parents. The UK children’s diet was identified as the primary cause.

In the U.S., First Lady Michelle Obama has expanded her “Let’s Move!” campaign by assigning White House sous chef Sam Kass to lead the “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative. Mrs. Obama hosted 700 chefs at the White House this June to energize this initiative and Mary Moore attended the daylong ceremonies.

And some vendors of The Cook’s Warehouse donated gifts, including:

· Messermeister: A knife roll (a canvas, roll-up carry-case that chefs use to carry knives outside the kitchen) including one 8” Chef’s knife

· The Cook’s Warehouse: A pastry brush, carbon steel peeler, pastry scraper, and CW cap

· Cuisinart: Subsidized the cost of three food processors

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.

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