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Chefs to Watch: Marin (Calif.) Country Day School’s Jason Hull has advice to keep growing through the seasons of school food

Walking the walk of garden-as-classroom and making an effort to lift up the whole industry, Jason Hull is a beam of California sunshine in the form of an awesome school chef.


Jason Hull is carrying on the garden-as-classroom grassroots work begun by California visionaries like Alice Waters. And the director of food services/chef/co-director of the Culinary Farm at Marin (Calif.) Country Day School is hoping to be the link between that sunny utopia—fresh, organic produce for every kid—and the current reality facing essential school food employees. Basically, Hull, Lead Chef Nancy Vasquez and the rest of the team want to extend a positive vibe and school lunch positivity/recognition far beyond Northern California. Hull is inspired by the foodservice industry, and talking to him, his energy and commitment to school lunch really shows.

quinoa_salad_w_corn_spinach_at_Marin_Country_Day_School.jpgPhoto: A quinoa-corn-spinach salad at Marin Country Day School. A fun fact about this Northern Cali K-8: It was founded in 1956 by a Barbara Mendenhall and Dorothy McWilliam Cousins, sister of Julia Child. No wonder the food is good!

The food service team here has recently welcomed back all students for the first time since a year ago, when the pandemic sent everyone home. Hull has some advice for school food pros who will be in the same situation in the coming weeks. He also dishes about marketing for your program, fun ideas and more advice to adapting, pivoting and then doing it all over again the next day, something all school foodservice folks need to know right now.

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