Since 2006, the CEHS Wellness Committee has been running a successful "Chef of the Month" program, bringing local chefs and businesses into school every month to serve lunch to students, staff, and senior citizens. The program provides exposure to local businesses as well introduces students to dishes they may not have tried, a departure from a typical high school student’s all-salt diet . This month, the lunch will feature local farmers and fishermen. The food will be prepared by the cafeteria staff, showcasing a set of certainly under-appreciated culinary talents.
Local Cape lobstermen will provide the lobster and the Cape Farmers’ Alliance will be providing the salad bar for lunch.
Said HS Wellness Committee advisor Elaine Brassard, “This program has really exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. It has really become an event--something that I think we should be proud to have in our school and as part of our community.”
Last month, the Buttered Biscuit, a small, upscale takeout restaurant owned by Cape Elizabethans Audrey and Byron Castro, sold over 300 portions of BBQ pulled pork and chicken with coleslaw, biscuits, and brownies to students and community members, a record for the Chef of the Month program.
The menu for November 2 looks seems better fit for a five-star restaurant, rather than a high school cafeteria:
Fresh Maine Lobster over pasta with a creamy alfredo sauce
Fresh Baked Bread
Made by cafeteria staff
Farmer's Salad Bar
Fresh, local produce
Homemade Apple Crisp
Community members are invited to join for lunch through Community Services. The cost of meals will go to the HS Wellness Committee to support the Chef of the Month program, which is now self-sustaining. For the last three years, the program relied on generous grants from Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation and Let’s Go!, a community-based initiative to promote healthy lifestyle choices for children, youth and families in twelve Greater Portland communities. “It’s nice that we can fund the program on our own now. It gives us more flexibility and certainly more opportunity for growth,” said Miss Brassard.
The Chef of the Month program has also been able to provide a link between high school students and elderly citizens in the community. Teaming up with the Senior to Senior program, about thirty senior citizens enjoy the lunch each month.
“I think it’s a wonderful program that integrates the local community with the high school, said senior Sydney Banks, co-president of the senior-to-senior program. “We are hoping to get high school seniors to visit with the elderly eaters during lunch and socialize with them. The senior citizens are always excited to see the students, and, of course, to have a great lunch.”