Kershaw County, SC (WLTX) - School is out but class is in session for some Midlands cafeteria employees.
Kershaw County School District cooks are spending the week learning from a chef.
They are learning things like new meal prep skills, farm to table cooking techniques, new healthier recipes, international flavors, food presentation, scratch cooking and nutrition.
It is all to help them provide a better variety of healthier options for students.
“Part of our job not only is to cook and serve but is to sell this food and to convince little Jimmy to try it," Culinary Partners’ Chef Instructor Tim Page explained. "Win that first bite battle and then have Jimmy convince his friends to try it and before you know it, the school is eating healthier and the kids are making wiser decisions about what they're eating."
The 40 employees also spent time in the classroom learning about nutrition, meal planning and production.
“It's actually amazing. I've had so much fun all week. It wasn't even mandatory. Actually for us to do it, we signed up so we could do it,” Camden High School Food Service Tech Helen Stewart said. “I like the cooking. I like working with all the other food techs and managers that I've never met, it's been a lot of fun.”
Thursday is their big exam day where they will make a final meal and graduate.
The program is part of a partnership with Culinary Partners, Eat Smart Move More SC, Clemson Extension and the University of South Carolina.
The district won a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation grant to pay for the $20,000 special program.