Where does our school food come from and how is it produced? To investigate some of these issues, Animal Welfare Approved sponsored a one-week, three-city tour for the UK Dinner Lady, Jeanette Orrey. Jeanette is credited with changing school food in the UK, and AWA sponsored this visit to promote cross cultural dialogue and share her experiences with people working to make change in several US school districts. Following two days in New York City, the tour continued south (via Amtrak), to Baltimore City Public Schools and Arlington (Virginia) Public Schools. (Pictured: Nancy Easton and Chef Bill Telepan of NYC nonprofit, Wellness in the Schools and Baltimore City Schools' Great Kids Farm Manager Greg Strella.)
We arrived at the Food Bank for NYC at 6 a.m. to resume our root vegetable preparation. By lunchtime, the parsnips and sweet potatoes had been fully prepped and the turkey was already cooking. Zak Pellacio and Jori of Fatty Crab, Cabrito (and other noted New York City restaurant ventures) began to demonstrate the techniques used in preparing heritage turkey and stayed cooly on-task amidst a flurry of New York Giants (yes, the football team). Zak made stock from the necks and backs, and drumsticks roasted continuously in anticipation of tomorrow’s meal. Chef Nate Gross of the Food Bank for NYC kitchen hosted a crew of guest chefs, volunteers and football stars in a 13-hour marathon of chopping and cleaning–all of which has hopefully made our task tomorrow (serving Thanksgiving dinner for seven hundred) somewhat more manageable. The video crew thepeoplewhofeedus.com arrived today, and began to film what will become an educational video about using all parts of the animal–not just the most heavily marketed. We have two virtual trophies for two of our volunteers from today. In Brigid”s tireless organization of this event, she managed to recruit an outstanding volunteer: her mother Mary Sweeney. Liz Hohn wins the other trophy, and can claim it tomorrow at 4 a.m. when we all arrive to finish turkey prep. Thanks again everyone and we’ll see you through coffee steam in a few hours.