Chef brings world foods to school lunchroom

berneUnionChef Jay Rommelfanger visited the kitchen of the Berne Union Schools cafeteria May 5 and 6 to prepare special entrees for student lunches. Rommelfanger, who lives in Oskosh, Wis., creates recipes and prepares food for Taher Foods, the company that provides food service for the school. Taher sends its corporate chefs to high-class restaurants in different countries to sample the food. When they return, the chefs incorporate the tastes they have experienced into the recipes for school cafeterias.

The first day he cooked, students were treated to Italian cuisine. They were able to purchase a meal of Tuscan piegga served with Firenze corn salad, fruit, bread and milk.

Sixth-grader James Morgan and seventh-grader Mekayla Havens said the piegga was very good. Havens said she wanted to get the chef’s recipe.

On Tuesday the chef served Moroccan cuisine. The menu was Casablanca-style Moroccan Chicken Wrap served with couscous salad, fruit, bread and milk.

Eighth-graders Jacob Skidmore and Ashley Snyder said they liked the food. Snyder said it was very different, but very good.

Berne Union Food Service Director Sherry Foltz said the students not only enjoyed the food Rommelfanger prepared, but they learned about the countries the food came from, because he shared information about his travels with them as he cooked and served the food.

Foltz said the chef’s visit was well-received, with the number of students purchasing lunch up by approximately 60 per day. She added that, though they said both meals were good, the Italian meal was voted best by most students. Berne Union Elementary teachers were treated to Rommelfanger’s creations during a teacher appreciation luncheon Tuesday.