Monday, August 20 , 2018, 4:40 am | Fair 64º


Celebrity Chef Cooks Up Green Workshop for School District

Food Services Department works to conserve millions of gallons of water

Santa Barbara Unified School District will present a bilingual culinary training, co-sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, during a district-wide professional development day Oct. 30.

The workshop will feature chef, activist and media personality Eddie Garza, who will demonstrate cooking methods and techniques while executing kid-friendly recipes such as:

Sizzling Street Tacos, Amazing Lo Mein, Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower, Kickin’ Kale Salad and Rockin’ Roasted Cool Corn & Edamame.

Garza is a leading thought leader in the movement to reform food systems and improve health outcomes in Latino communities through implementation of innovative plant-based meal programs.

He has lectured and presented demonstrations at universities and conferences in the U.S. and Mexico, as well as on television, including CNN, Telemundo, SXSW and ExpSer in Mexico City.

Garza's book, ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook is among the top 10 on Amazon’s cookbook rankings.

“These are exciting times for our industry," said Chef Nancy Weiss, Santa Barbara Unified Food Services director.

"As a school district, we are in the unique position to enhance the lives of young people through whole foods, nutrition, and by encouraging smart choices and healthy eating habits," Weiss said.

"Our department’s motto is, Eat to Live, Live to Learn, Learn to Eat, and each and every day we strive to serve our students the most delicious and healthful meals while supporting local farms and businesses,” she said.

Weiss is the 2017 recipient of the U.S. Congressional Woman of the Year Award and the National Golden Carrot Award.

She is recognized for her work to serve restaurant-quality, made-from-scratch meals featuring local farm produce and healthful ingredients in a public-education environment.

Weiss’ reinvention of campus dining challenges perceptions of the school food model.

Santa Barbara Unified Food Services serves about 9,000 students per day. By offering a selection of plant-based options, the district says it will reduce its carbon and water footprint by approximately 85 percent per serving.

Over one school year, Food Services projects the district will save more than 116 million gallons of water.

"It’s a win-win situation; together we’re benefiting the environment while improving our children’s health and well-being. I haven’t been this excited since I banned Styrofoam from our cafeterias,” Weiss said.

— Lauren Bianchi Klemann for Santa Barbara Unified School District.


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