Mountain Lake, Minn. -Public School lunches may sometimes get a bad reputation for being unhealthy or undesirable.
But Mountain Lake Public School and their food service management company are providing students healthier and culturally inspired food.
As students sit down for lunch at Mountain Lake Public School, they are trying dishes inspired by the cultural cuisine of places far, far away.
Mountain Lake Public School Food Service Director Tammy Wolle said, “It’s very exciting, something new. I’ve never tried this dish before. We’ve had a lot of other dishes that I wouldn’t have thought to even try but we all do try them and the kids really do like them.”
Chefs with Taher, the food service management company for the school district have been jetting off to many corners of the globe looking for ideas to bring back and serve up to students.
Taher Regional Chef Chris Murry said, “There’s 12 of us [chefs]. Once or twice a year we travel somewhere different in the world. We just got back from Singapore and Jakarta. Get to experience the food, but more importantly the culture.”
The chefs visit Mountain Lake Public School at least three times a year to share the new recipes they have discovered, that could become a staple on the lunch menu.
But the dishes don’t just provide students a taste of different cultures.
Murry said, “In other places in the world, people eat a lot healthier, so the food we’re working with today is product we saw in the alleys of Vietnam, in Hanoi. So, it’s very healthy, it’s a ramen noodle bowl. It’s called a bun cha.”
And even though some kids might be picky eaters, the cooks find they get many different reactions for students.
Mountain Lake Public School Head Cook Heidi Bergling said, “Sometimes their nose turns up, some say oh this looks really interesting and some think it looks awesome.”
The school also has a program to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to elementary students that they might not usually get to try include jicama and mangos.
The chefs have traveled to over a dozen countries including France, Turkey and India.