Daniel Giusti, a former chef at Noma — a Copenhagen restaurant consistently deemed the "world's best" — has left the world of fine dining. Now, he's taken on an even more daunting task: redesigning the public school lunch.
In January, Giusti launched Brigaid, a startup that aims to put professional chefs in public school cafeterias in order to improve their lunches.
"We’re constantly asking ourselves: 'What can be better tomorrow?' Just like you would do at a restaurant ... 'How can we make this better every day for these students?'" he tells Business Insider.
This summer, Giusti got approval to pilot his program in New London High and Bennie Dover Jackson Middle, two schools in Connecticut. After receiving more than 275 applications to work in the schools, he chose April Kindt and Ryan Kennedy, two trained chefs ready to take on the challenge of making the schools' lunches tasty, nutritious, and cheap.
The US Dept of Education mandates that lunches cost under $3.18 to produce, an amount the government reimburses schools for free lunches. That amount (which the Brigaid team has been able to meet) includes the ingredients, transportation, labor, and maintenance costs.
Classes started on September 1 for the two schools. Keep scrolling to check out what the Brigaid team has come up with so far.
The ingredients for Brigaid's lunches each cost around $1.35, and Giusti's team has been able to keep the total cost under $3.18. Six Connecticut schools will have their own Brigaid chef by November 1.
With the new year starting, the team is testing all kinds of dishes, including these meatballs cut with mushrooms.
The main entrees rotate every day. On some days, kids get their choice of a sandwich. Options include chicken salad, hummus with roasted vegetables, tomato with pesto, and roasted turkey and cranberry sauce.
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