MSDE Culinary Boot Camp

On Tuesday July 15th MASBHC observed a session of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) sponsored Cook Smart Culinary Boot Camp 2014 at Oxon Hill High School. MSDE partners with the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation (RAMEF) and four Maryland school systems to provide a one week refresher course for school nutrition professionals all over Maryland. The Culinary Boot Camps objective is to  reinforce kitchen skills as well as spark creativity among attendees to create flavorful, nutritious school menu items.

The purpose of the Cook Smart Boot Camp is for a team of school nutrition professionals from all over Maryland to work with local chefs to develop new and healthy menu items, enhance skills in knife cutting techniques, food presentation and food product management. With these skills, school nutrition professionals will be able to prepare more menu items from scratch that meet USDA nutritional guidelines. The week-long culinary boot camp starts with chef demos, followed by skills practice by the participants. Topics covered during the course include knife techniques, seasoning and flavoring, vegetable preparation, product planning, and production labs. All the demos and lectures are led by local chefs. The boot camp serves as a great refresher on proper skills and techniques. Many of attendees at the Oxon Hill Culinary Boot Camp have been working as school nutrition professionals for many years and were still able to take away new skills and techniques from just the second day of the boot camp.

MSDE will hold five Cook Smart culinary boot camps this summer; one in each of the following counties: Queen Anne’s County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, Worcester County, and Charles County.

MSDE’s Cook Smart Culinary Boot Camps are made possible by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA). For more information on MSDE’s Boot Camps visit their website. For more information on HHFKA, visit USDA’s HHFKA website.



Culinary Boot Camp Attendees practicing knife skills


Chefs calling on attendees to help with the demonstration

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St. Frances Academy’s Teacher Appreciation Week


St. Frances staff participating in the yoga class as part of the Teacher Appreciation Dinner

To commemorate Teacher Appreciation Week, St. Frances Academy held a Teacher Appreciation Dinner for staff and faculty.  St. Frances Academy is one of two Maryland sites participating in the Hallways to Health program, which is a program sponsored by MASBHC, School-Based Health Alliance, and Kaiser Permanente’s Thriving Schools Initiative. St. Frances Academy’s Teachers Appreciation Dinner was held as part of the Hallways to Health grant’s employee wellness component.

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Do you remember Eduardo?

If you have been following our blog, you know of our Hallways to Health program and you have also heard about Northwood High student, Eduardo.


Well we have a wonderful update on Eduardo! Due to his success in weight loss and healthy living, Eduardo has taken it upon himself to spread the message among his peers as well as on a national level. Eduardo will begin conducting service hours with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to assist  them in creating healthy El Salvadorean recipes. Eduardo will be working with Kate Sherwood. Ms. Sherwood is the culinary director and executive chef of the CSPI in Washington D.C. and she also writes The Healthy Cook recipe page for CSPI’s newsletter, Nutrition Action and is the publication’s culinary editor. CSPI hopes to create cookbooks of healthy ethnic recipes, and they will be starting with El Salvadorean cuisine. Eduardo’s service project is also part of CSPI’s Food Day.

We are so proud of Eduardo for continuing his path to healthy living and we are so inspired that he will be working to make other ethnic communities healthier!

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