A year ago, Chartwells K12 began its world culinary tour taking kids on a food adventure to Mexico, Italy, India and China with its Global Eats program, earning an FM Best Concept Award earlier this year. Now, for the 2023-24 school year, it is adding two new cultural cuisines—Korean and Caribbean—to school cafeteria menus at the school districts where it operates.
Global Eats was created by Chartwells K12 to turn food into a worldly adventure and introduce students to the unique ingredients, authentic flavors, and traditional recipes from diverse global cuisines.
“Over the past year, Global Eats has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from students,” says Chartwells K12 CEO Amy Shaffer. “Their feedback is invaluable to our chefs and dietitians as they continue creating fun, educational, food-focused programs. With new destinations coming to even more schools this year, Global Eats is another way we’re making sure kids leave the cafeteria happier and healthier than they came in.”
Chartwells K12 chefs and dietitians worked alongside celebrity chefs who are experts in global cuisines to expand the program’s menu. On the Caribbean side, Chef Tavel Bristol-Joseph, the Austin-based pastry chef and partner at Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group, created recipes such as Jamaican Beef Hand Pies, Dominican Mangu, Puerto Rican Style Sofrito Rice and Roasted Jerk Chicken.
“I grew up cooking and baking alongside my aunt in Guyana, savoring the flavors of South America and the Caribbean,” Bristol-Joseph relates. “After bringing those authentic flavors to my restaurants in Austin, I’m honored to partner with Chartwells K12 and thrilled for students to experience a taste of the Caribbean in their own school cafeterias.”
The Korean dishes were formulated by Chef Angel Barreto, executive chef and partner at the contemporary Korean restaurant Anju in Washington DC who has a background studying Korean food and history as an American Culinary Corps member with the U.S. State Department. Barreto pushes the boundaries of Korean cuisine while honoring its traditions, creating meals like Korean-Style Zucchini Namul, Kimchi Tofu Grain Bowl, Korean Pork Bibimbap Bowl, and Gochujang-Style Chicken Lettuce Cups.
“Growing up in a military family, I learned to enjoy regional dishes and flavors, but nothing surpassed my mom’s homemade Korean cuisine,” Barreto offers. “She loved creating meals from her time spent living abroad, and I shared her passion. I can’t wait for kids to learn about a new culture in a fun and delicious way with Global Eats!”
In addition to the culturally rich recipes for students to choose from, there is an educational component to Global Eats that encourages ongoing participation and learning about different customs and cultures. They include in-school cooking demonstrations, tastings, videos, activities, and giveaways along with the Global Eats website that can be accessed at any time and features recipes, videos, reading recommendations, and other activities for students and families.
Here are some of the new Korean and Caribbean dishes being offered in the Global Eats program…