Bertrand Weber ran five-star hotels and high-end restaurants. Now he puts good food in Minneapolis Public Schools.
“We’re the best kept secret,” Weber said. “I run the largest restaurant franchise in the Twin Cities.”
Weber, the district’s director of Culinary and Nutrition Services, serves more than 43,000 meals every day at 73 schools without high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial colors or preservatives. This is known as “true food.”
Under Weber’s direction, the district is leading the way with a farm-to-school program, a garden-to-cafeteria pilot program, family-style dining and higher service standards.
Katie Wilson, deputy undersecretary for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, toured the some of the district’s schools and kitchens on Sept. 23. Wilson said she tours districts that are doing innovative and “outstanding” work worth highlighting.
“I visit when a program is doing extraordinary work: out-of-the-box thinking that’s in the best interest of the kids. That’s exactly what we saw here,” Wilson said. “There are great programs all over the country, but Minneapolis is moving the dial forward and pushing the envelope, saying it’s not school food, it’s good food at school, and that’s exactly the idea we want to get across.”