We are happy to announce that Chef Cody Williams, the dynamic Director of Food Service at Sonoma Valley Unified School District, is joining our blog, Who’s Cooking School Lunch, as a co-blogger.
Cody has introduced a number of innovations into his district’s school lunch program that we think you’ll be interested in knowing about from the inside out. He’s based the program on what’s in season using direct purchasing from local farmers, participated in assisting with garden based learning, introduced an application for purchasing school lunch and seeing what’s on the menu, written and delivered course instruction in cooking to his staff and more. He’ll be telling you about those things and writing about other school food developments from time to time.
He doesn’t do this alone. He has backing from his school district, which is aware that Sonoma County is a destination food and wine county. They want the school district food program consistent with the premise that the county supports an authentic culture of interest in food at every level.
As we reported a year ago in our blog feature of May 21, 2014, Cody has increased purchases of fruits and vegetables from $50-60,000 2012-13 to $200,000 in 2013-14. He has food partners in his program, such as Chef John McReynolds of Stone Edge Farm and Kathleen Thompson Hill, Food and Wine Editor at the Sonoma Index Tribune and author. They are active in the district’s garden in every school program as well, a providing fruit trees and whatever is needed to support the program.
Cody serves on the California Department of Education Nutrition Advisory Council. His background is a classically trained chef through the Culinary Institute of America and he worked in fine dining throughout Sonoma and Napa prior to beginning his work with school food in Sonoma Valley Unified.
We couldn’t be more pleased that he will be sharing his insight with you.