Chef Manager Amanda Bacharach says she’s excited to work with Ellis and that it’s a priority for her to help students learn about eating good food and making healthy food choices.
"Working with young kids is really fulfilling,” she says. "You’re helping them learn how they’re going to eat, how to appreciate good food and make healthy choices early on. The food they’ll get here isn’t the chicken fingers and pizza a lot of us grew up with in a school cafeteria. This is going to be pasta, grilled chicken…a lot of options with a lot of flavor that help students know how interesting and flavorful food can be.”
CulinArt’s signature "Eat Well” menu program consists of recipes that incorporate whole, naturally flavorful, and nutritious foods prepared with healthful cooking methods. Highlights of the program include The Chef’s Table, which will showcase comfort-style entrees and sides, including vegetarian, vegan, and plant-forward options. A daily featured “favorite” menu item will rotate between pizza, burgers, chicken sandwiches, tenders, and more, while the sandwich station will allow students to enjoy warm toasted paninis. CulinArt’s salad bar includes fresh seasonal greens, veggies, and toppings, locally-sourced whenever possible, as well as proteins, composed salads, and crafted creations.
They will also celebrate diversity through food with special menus in recognition of cultural heritage months, and will plan fun themed days throughout the year.
Sustainability is also a focus for CulinArt. Food and paper waste will be composted from now on, and the dining hall now uses washable plastic plates and cups and metal silverware rather than disposable plates and utensils. Ms. Bacharach also noted that CulinArt’s Waste Not 2.0 program is designed to help the company track whether they are over- or under-producing food.
"We keep track of all green waste before we recycle it so that we can know how much food we need to be producing,” she says. "The program is there to help us eliminate food waste.”
Changes to Ellis’ dining services are part of numerous campus updates and improvements made over the summer. New windows were installed in Alumnae Hall and elsewhere throughout the school, while several buildings received new flooring. In the Upper School, all hallways were repainted and the main staircase and window seat were refinished.
"We’re really pleased that we were able to devote so much of the summer to these important improvement projects,” says Lauren Bedell, Director of Finance and Operations. "Our Facilities team worked tirelessly to ensure that all of this necessary work was being completed efficiently, and we appreciate the summer staff who accommodated the work so seamlessly. All of this makes the school look wonderful, but most importantly it helps ensure a safe and comfortable environment for our students who are learning here everyday.”