Briarcliff’s Food Service Director Hosts Discovery Kitchens at Briarcliff Schools

BMS Principal Susan Howard (second from right) and seventh grade students sample the carrot cilantro soup and sweet potatoes prepared by Candida Canfield (center), Briarcliff’s food service director, as part of the Discovery Kitchen initiative at Briarcliff schools.

Candida Canfield, Briarcliff’s food service director, invited Chartwell’s K-12 Schools, a team of chefs, dietitians and operators who cook and serve meals with fresh, healthy ingredients in more than 4,000 schools across the country, to host a series of Discovery Kitchen events at Briarcliff schools to encourage students to experience a variety of foods.  

Canfield explained, “Fewer and fewer families cook together... The program allows students see foods that are not packaged and how they can be combined to make something delicious and simple. I specifically choose recipes that kids could make themselves. Ultimately the goal is getting kids to try different foods.” 

The first Discovery Kitchen at Briarcliff was held in November at Todd and featured butternut squash served plain or with three toppings: cinnamon, maple syrup, and extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper. A display of winter squash included butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash. In December, Chartwell came to Briarcliff Middle School to present a meal that featured carrot cilantro soup and roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary.  

Seventh grader Christian Brown said of the soup, “It’s delicious. I’d definitely get it if it’s on the menu.”  

The next Discovery Kitchen, scheduled for the high school, will provide students with a variety of choices and a discussion of the nutritional value of each.

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About the Author: Evelyn Mertens