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Kitchen Renovations Bring Fresh Food to Minneapolis Schools
Monday, November 02, 2015 9:50 AM

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Chef Todd Waldeland holds up a tray of zucchini squash, roasted in a new PROformance Combitherm oven at Roosevelt High School.
Should students at Roosevelt High School get steamed or roasted zucchini squash for lunch? How about steam roasted? With the installation of new Alto-Shaam PROformance Combitherm ovens, cooks at the school finally have that choice.
 
Part of a five-year, $100 million effort by Culinary and Nutrition Services Director Bertrand Weber and Minneapolis Public Schools, the kitchen at Roosevelt was among the first in the district to get a total makeover and make Weber’s goal of serving fresh food prepared on site a reality. In 2012 a typical high school lunch was a bland slice of pizza and individually wrapped veggie packets and fruit. “We were 100 percent prepack,” said Weber. “Corn was the only vegetable we were able to prepare on site.”
 
Now students are eating beef and broccoli with rice, roasted sweet potatoes, and curried chicken with yellow rice, peppers and pickled pineapple—the latter entrée coming from chef Alex Roberts’ menu at Brasa restaurant through a partnership program called the True Food Chef Council.