On Friday, June 4, in what White House Food Initiative Coordinator Sam Kass described as "a historic day in food," First Lady Michelle Obama formally launched the Chefs Move To Schools project.
Citizen chefs are being encouraged to adopt schools in their communities across America to teach nutrition education and help create healthy meals. As of Friday morning, according to Kass, 990 chefs and 488 schools had answered Mrs. Obama's call to service and signed on to join Chefs Move To Schools on the USDA website.
About 500 chefs visited the White House to help Mrs. Obama kick off the initiative, and they represented professional culinary groups from across America, as well as a big contingent of America's TV chefs and culinary luminaries. Included among the hundreds of chefs invited to the White House was a cadre of chefs from Houston, a contingent from Chicago, and the American Culinary Federation announced that it was sending 55 chefs.
Read Mrs. Obama's remarks here. During her remarks, Mrs. Obama gave Kass a special shout out, and urged Congress to reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act as soon as possible. A Google map of Chefs Move To Schools is here. Kass blogs about the day here.
Before the South Lawn event, the chefs had a policy breakfast sponsored by Share Our Strength at a local hotel, where they heard from Kass and Education Secretary Arne Duncan, as well as SOS executive Bill Shore.
After the South Lawn launch event, there was a Special Harvest of the Kitchen Garden, where local kids plucked veggies and cooked with the celeb chefs and First Lady; Cat Cora in action is here; Tom Colicchio is in action here; Rachael Ray in action is here. A special Chefs Move To Schools recipe is here.
Watch a video of Kass and Cat Cora on AM talk show "Morning Joe" here. A transcript of the White House press release for the project is here.
The project moved rapidly; Mrs. Obama first announced it on May 13; Kass blogs about the program here. Mrs. Obama announced the big launch event on May 27.
*The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Report is available here [PDF]. Visit www.Letsmove.gov/ for more information about the campaign, and visit USDA's website here to sign up as a chef or a school.
*Top photo by Getty; at left by Lawrence Jackson/White House