New London schools to expand menu with help of renowned chef - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New London schools to expand menu with help of renowned chef

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

The New London School system is serving up a new way of serving food in its cafeterias.

World renowned chef Dan Giusti is helping the system become the first in the nation to introduce a pilot program called the “Chefs in Schools Program.”

The program includes an expanded menu with to-go breakfast and dinner.

The all magnet schools district approved a 3 year contract with Giusti, founder of Brigaid, a company he started to transform the way students eat in schools.

"One thing for breakfast though that would be nice is hot food,” Giusti said. “I think there is something about hot food that's just nourishing."

Giusti said he was the former head chef of Noma, a restaurant in Copenhagen that was named the best in the world in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

He gave it all up, however, to focus on school cafeteria food.

He said he wanted to make a difference with quality, fresh and healthy food.

"I want lunch to be a time where they sit down and they look forward to that food and they smell something good,” Giusti said. “[They’ll say] ‘Ah this is great’ and they feel good about it."

Brigaid will manage all six New London school cafeterias. Chefs will be hired for each at $60,000 apiece and the current staff will be retained.

Superintendent Dr. Manny Rivera estimated with foundation backing that the program will pay for itself in a matter of years with little impact to taxpayers.

"The idea of bringing someone of Dan's caliber here to help us rethink and look at what we're doing and how we can dramatically improve food service made all the sense in the world,” Rivera said.

About 3,300 students are served breakfast, lunch and some dinners daily. Under the new effort, the food service program is expected to increase dramatically.

The menu could be ready as early as this summer.

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