On November 10, FirstLine was proud to welcome CulinaryCorps back to New Orleans as they teamed up with ESY NOLA for a day of food-focused events at Firstline Schools. Culinary Corps is a group of chefs from all over North America that enable culinary students and professionals to volunteer their skills for the benefit of communities in need.
Early in the day, Culinary Corps teamed up with Green Charter’s 7th grade class for our 6th annual Iron Chef Competition! The heat was on as chefs and their 7th graders determined what dishes to make for this breakfast edition competition. The secret ingredient, Creole Cream Cheese, turned out to be an easy-to-incorporate, delicious addition to all dishes. Though all dishes were fantastic, only 1 cuisine could reign supreme and this was ESY NOLA Chef’s Katie Bingham and Lauren Coroy, along with their skilled group of 7th graders! The winning dish had a very fitting name – Green Eggs and Ham – and consisted of grits, greens, boiled eggs and bacon, alongside pecan-crusted French toast with a banana Creole cream cheese sauce.
During the afternoon, Culinary Corps traveled to Langston Hughes where they led a knife skills and food beautification workshop for our foodservice staff. This was a first for FirstLine foodservice, and in partnership with Sodexo, cafeteria chefs from school around the city, including KIPP and Holy Cross, were able to participate in foodservice professional development! The group tested new recipes and created new presentations of hot line food to make nutritious and appealing dishes for our students.
In the evening, Culinary Corps helped run John Dibert Community School’s first-ever Family Food Night! Dibert students and parents helped find out what exactly happened to the Food Pyramid. As they traveled from station to station, families picked up pieces to the puzzle along with tasty snacks, recipes they could make at home and participated in fun activities along the way! After collecting all of their puzzle pieces, we put it all together to show them the Food Pyramid is now MyPlate. This new food icon is a great way to teach students and their parents about the food groups and how to create a healthy plate.
Though they have finished their work with ESY NOLA and Firstline Schools for this trip, we wish them luck on the second portion of their trip as they travel to Mississippi to participate in an after-school cooking club program for the Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast.
Check out Culinary Corps’ video of their visit to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast here!
Saturday, November 12th, was also Green Charter’s 2nd Open Garden Day this year! Volunteers assisted in various tasks, such as seeding, composting, feeding trees, sign making and even a fun recycled paper activity.
It takes the generosity and kindness of many people and organizations to make all of these events fantastic events happen. In Firstline School's tradition, I would like to give a shout –out to all of the organizations that helped make these events possible: Culinary Corps, Hollygrove Market & Farm, Whole Foods, Langenstein’s, Junior League of New Orleans and all of our volunteers! We couldn’t do this without all of you!