Guest post by Dean Zatkowsky

As the Communications Manager for the Orfalea Foundation, I’m also the in-house photographer. And let me tell you, it’s hard to beat an assignment where people feed you good food all day. Here are some snapshots from Day 2 of the School Food Initiative’s Culinary Boot Camp, which is being conducted at the Lompoc Unified School District Central Kitchen.

About 1/3 of the students arrive early to prepare breakfast for the whole class (and photographer!). Here, an immersion blender is used to mix a delicious fruit smoothie.

About 1/3 of the attendees arrive early to prepare breakfast for the whole class (and photographer!). Here, an immersion blender is used to mix a delicious fruit smoothie.

Stealth Health! Students learn how to bake breakfast bars that kids love with vegetables cleverly hidden inside.

Stealth Health! Attendees learn how to bake breakfast bars that kids love, with vegetables cleverly hidden inside.

Knife skills are taught on day two, and then used to prepare ingredients that will be used throughout the week. Here, Chef Kirsten demonstrates how to safely and efficiently slice zucchini.

Knife skills are taught on day two, and then used to prepare ingredients that will be employed throughout the week. Here, Chef Kirsten demonstrates how to safely and efficiently slice zucchini.

I may not have been listening carefully enough, but I'm pretty sure that NOT cutting off your hand or fingers is a key message point during the knife skills lesson.

I may not have been listening carefully enough, but I’m pretty sure that NOT cutting off your hand or fingers is a key message point during the knife skills lesson.

Cooking sauces from scratch can saves schools a lot of money, and also allows us to control the amount of sugar, salt, and other ingredients. Plus, the kitchen and cafeteria smell really good while the sauces are simmering!

Cooking sauces from scratch can save schools a lot of money, and also allows them to moderate the amounts of sugar, salt, and other ingredients that end up in kids’ food. Plus, the kitchen and cafeteria smell really good while the sauces are simmering!

Sautéing vegetables in a tilt-skillet, in preparation to make marinara sauce from scratch.

Sautéing vegetables in a tilt-skillet, in preparation to make marinara sauce from scratch.

Later, the immersion blender is used to finish the sauce.

Later, the immersion blender is used to smooth the sauce.

Today's lunch included roast turkey with homemade gravy, roasted zucchini, mashed potatoes, and pasta with marinara sauce. I told them I needed a second and third plate for pictures, but that wasn't technically true.

Today’s lunch included roast turkey with homemade gravy, roasted zucchini, mashed potatoes, and pasta with marinara sauce. I told them I needed a second and third plate for pictures, but that wasn’t technically true.

Before we eat lunch, students tell Chef Kirsten what they made, and what they learned while making it.

Before we eat lunch, attendees tell Chef Kirsten what they made, and what they learned while making it.

I never get tired of telling people how proud I am to be associated with the School Food Initiative team, but I’m also proud to be associated with the food service workers in our schools. They love our children, and they want to feed them well, and society ought to pay closer attention to that. (It’s a guest post; I’m allowed to get a little preachy, right?).

Until tomorrow, DZ

3 Comments » for Scenes from Culinary Boot Camp Day 2

  1. Gail La Tour says:

    Seeing these pics really brings back great memories. Great job Kirsten, and the rest of the Orfalea crew. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to seeing the excitement in my crew, from Guadalupe when they graduate!

  2. Kathy Bertelsen says:

    On behalf of my district, Lompoc USD, we would like to express our gratitude to Orfalea for the great resources they provide to us. We enjoy the awesome, state of the art equipment you have provided and the expert training and wonderful support you have been providing for us over the last 4 1/2 years. We feel good about the delicious and nutritious food we serve our students now. Thank you!!!

  3. Way to go team!!!!!
    Looks yummy.

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