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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough beefs up its food service staff



TAMPA -- Hillsborough County isn't fooling around when it comes to making cafeteria food healthy and palatable for picky young eaters.

First they took steps to ban junk food. Then they invited students to take part in tasting panels of new, exotic foods.

Now they've hired a chef.

Ben Guggenmos will serve as the first "district chef," suggesting tastier dishes that don't topple the food pyramid. We'll look forward to hearing how that goes. As they say: the proof's in the pudding.

From the press release:

"Chef Guggenmos has been contracted for the 2010-2011 school year to help SNS achieve its vision of high quality, healthy, and affordable meals for all students. He will be responsible for introducing food service staff to new ways of preparing healthier and more attractive meals while maintaining quality and nutritional value. 

"Guggenmos, a Charleston, SC, native who comes from a family of chefs, is passionate about infusing culinary arts and nutrition with food services. As a licensed dietician and degreed chef with experience working for several restaurants and hospitality facilities including ARAMARK and Whole Foods Market, he brings a wealth of culinary expertise to the new position.

“'I look forward to sharing my expertise with food service staff and to helping change the perception of school meals in a positive way within the community,” says Guggenmos.

"He will also have the opportunity to interact with students and provide hands-on cooking lessons and activities for all grade levels. 
“'As a leader in school nutrition services, SNS recognizes this as an opportunity to provide innovative ways of introducing students of all ages to healthy meal options,” said Mary Kate Harrison, SNS General Manager.

"The Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Student Nutrition Services Department is a self-sustaining operation with a $95 million budget.  The department feeds more than 200,000 meals each day to students and staff, making it the sixth largest feeding program in the country.  More than 1,900 student nutrition employees strive to meet the program's vision to provide high quality, healthy meals to promote growth and learning for all students in a positive and courteous environment."


[Last modified: Monday, September 20, 2010 12:59pm]


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