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Traveling teaching kitchen driving healthy changes in kids arrives at Heritage Middle School

posted Nov 14, 2017, 12:27 PM by Cheryl Shuffler

Innovative food education shows positive outcomes after chefs and students make meals together



Elly, a mobile teaching kitchen traveling across America, is coming to Burke County Public Schools Nov. 14 through 16 to drive healthy behavior changes in approximately 150 students and their families over three days.

Created by Chartwells K12, Elly is a custom-designed shipping container built into a fully functioning and mobile kitchen. Professional chefs and registered dieticians join Elly to teach culinary skills and food education through interactive cooking demonstrations.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “We’re always searching for innovative ways to broaden our students’ education, both inside and outside the classroom. The fun – and not to mention tasty – food education that Elly will provide helps our teachers, our parents and our community create a healthier future for our students.”

Elly will be at Heritage Middle School Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. During that time, Chartwells K12 Chefs Nick Bobotas and Gray Wagoner and dietitian Colette Stewart will teach four classes each day to cook White Bean and Chicken Tacos with Citrus Avocado Salsa. Culinary students from Draughn and East Burke high schools will be assisting the Chartwells K12 culinary team during the classes. Every student dons an apron and cooks alongside the chef, learning how to press fresh tortillas and slice and sauté red onions. Students also learn how to select healthful ingredients on their own and customize meals to their and their families’ preferences.

To date, Elly has traveled over 2,800 miles and cooked with nearly 2,200 students across the United States, with stops in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Jersey and now South Carolina.

A survey of participating students at Elly’s first two stops revealed positive outcomes that can impact students’ long-term food and health decisions:

· 8 percent more students were very confident following a simple recipe

· 15 percent more students were very confident about preparing and cooking new foods and recipes

· 29 percent more students were very confident about being able to cook from basic ingredients

“At Chartwells, our role is to provide students with access to delicious and healthy meals while providing them with food education so they discover and truly understand the difference that nutritious foods can make in their daily lives,” said Peggy Luther, Chartwells District Manager. “Elly takes our mission even further and gives us the ability to teach thousands of student’s important lifelong culinary skills and healthy food lessons in a fun and innovative environment.”

To learn more about Elly the Mobile Teaching Kitchen, visit: www.ellythemtk.com.


About Chartwells K12
Chartwells K12 has partnered with York County District One since July 2015 to deliver healthy, great-tasting meals to students in the school cafés. Chartwells K12 provides dining programs more than 4,000 schools serving two million meals a day, ranging from large public institutions to small charter and private schools, and prides itself on extending its dedication, knowledge, and enthusiasm into serving each student delicious, great tasting meals. Chartwells K12 is built on decades of food and education experience and driven by top culinary, nutrition, wellness, and sustainability talent. For more information, visithttp://www.ChartwellsK12.com/.
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