Chef Trades World-Best Restaurant for School Lunches

He wants to bring professional-quality food to America's cafeterias
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2015 6:10 PM CST
Spaghetti is dished out during lunch service at the Patrick Henry Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, April 29, 2014.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The Washington Post has an interesting profile of the chef who hopes to become the unlikely savior of America's school lunch programs. Daniel Giusti became an executive chef in Washington DC at only 24. He followed that up by working his way up from unpaid apprentice to chef de cuisine at Copenhagen's Noma—routinely listed as one of the top three restaurants in the world—in only two years. Now after three years running Noma, he's coming back to the US to tackle school lunches. "The chef who has fed the world’s elite some of the most meticulously prepared dishes anywhere—at a restaurant where the tab can top $800 for two diners—now hopes to feed schoolchildren for $3.07 each," the Post sums up.

Giusti's company Brigaid wants to build new or improved kitchens in schools around the country and hire professional chefs to work in those kitchens every day, the Post reports. Giusti believes that by teaching kids about food early, he can empower them to make healthier choices later in life. But he's facing some huge hurdles, including school budgets, picky students, and guidelines that currently classify pizza sauce as a vegetable. “This is a huge undertaking and a risky undertaking, but for me this is worth it,” Giusti says. “I have no problem giving it all I’ve got, and if I fail, I fail.” Giusti hopes to have a pilot program running in at least one school district by next year. Read the full story here. (Read more school lunch stories.)

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