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Happy National School Lunch Week!


National School Lunch Week is October 9-13, 2017!

This year, the theme of the School Nutrition Association's National School Lunch Week is "recipes for success," celebrating the "secret ingredients" that make each school lunch program unique.

Secret Ingredient #1: Meet Our Chefs

One of our "recipes for success" is our amazing Chef Educators, who have been helping transform school food in Massachusetts for ten years now. We asked them to share what they love most about what they do and why Chefs in Schools is important.

Chef Guy Koppe

Job: Director of Chefs in Schools

Works in: Boston Public Schools

Years with Project Bread: 8

Background: Wide variety of nutrition-related positions, including Watertown Food Service Director and Director of Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread.

Fun fact: Has two kids of his own in Boston Public Schools.

Favorite thing about Chefs in Schools: Getting to introduce students to new healthy foods that they might not have tried otherwise!

Favorite Chefs in Schools recipe: Beef Tacos


Chef Sam Icklan

Job: Chef Educator

Works in: Greenfield Public Schools and Amherst Public Schools

Years with Project Bread: 2.5

Background: School food service director at New Hingham Regional Elementary School for two years. Head chef at Camp Aranu'tiq of Harbor Camps, a camp for transgender and gender-variant youth, since 2012.

Fun fact: Has studied music and German in addition to culinary arts.

Favorite thing about Chefs in Schools: Coming back at the start of each school year and seeing familiar faces walk into the cafeteria.

Favorite Chefs in Schools recipe: Fajita Chicken and Cheese Sub


Chef Vanessa LaBranche

Job: Chef Educator

Works in: Boston Public Schools

Years with Project Bread: 6

Background: Has been interested in cooking since she was a teenager, when she and her siblings would often cook dinner for their whole family.

Fun fact: Born and raised in Boston but has family roots in New Orleans and Mississippi, and brings that signature southern style to her cooking.

Favorite thing about Chefs in Schools: Hearing students' honest opinions when testing new recipes: "Whether positive or negative, this really helps up to adapt and change as necessary when it comes to menu choices."

Favorite Chefs in Schools recipe: Chicken Teriyaki Stir Fry 

*Vanessa also teaches our weekly free Fresh for Less cooking classes at The KITCHEN at Boston Public Market

Featured Recipe

Project Bread's Chefs in Schools program

The Cuban sandwich is a hit with kids in cafeterias state-wide!

School food service directors: Check out the school-sized recipe to make it in your cafeterias.

Families: Click on the family-sized recipe to make your own Cubanos at home!


Learn more about why healthty school meals matter for students in Massachusetts.