Category Archives: Profile

Monterey Peninsula’s Culinary Arts Class teaches students and cooks

Michelle Sorensen, (pictured left) is Seaside High School’s Culinary Arts Instructor, at Monterey Peninsula Unified School District in northern California. She teaches both students and cooks in an exciting new program, started last year as a collaboration between high school … Continue reading

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Monterey’s “Miss Duckie’s” colorful kitchen

DEBBIE ‘DUCKIE’ COTA, MANAGER, Del Red Woods K-5, Monterey Peninsula School District, Seaside, CA Origin: Monterey When you walk into ‘Duckie’s kitchen, you know you are in a warm, safe, happy place. It’s full of bright posters, colorful decorations, and … Continue reading

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Bambi Barker takes Monterey’s production kitchen to a new level

BAMBI BARKER, MANAGER, PACK-OUT KITCHEN at SEASIDE HIGH SCHOOL, Monterey Peninsula Unified School District,  Seaside, CA Origin: Castroville, CA When we visited Bambi, pictured left inside her walk-in cooler, in her large production kitchen at Seaside High School she and … Continue reading

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Jenn Gerard, one of a new generation of school food service directors

MONTEREY The California Central Coast city of Monterey has a rich history. Native Americans fished the abundant waters of the bay thousands of years before 1542 when the first Spanish explorer, Juan Rodríquez Cabrillo sailed in and gave the bay its … Continue reading

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Acalanes’ Maria Valente Loves to Decorate the Lunch Room

MARIA VALENTE, Lead Food Service Assistant, Miramonte High School,  Acalanes Union High School District, Orinda, CA Origin: Nisqually Indian Reservation, Oakville, WA We visited Maria at Miramonte High School late one fall morning where we found the lunch room welcomingly … Continue reading

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Acalanes’s Diane Deschler

Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga,  and Walnut Creek are the northern California towns that form the Acalanes Unifed School District.  Walnut Creek, sits in the Diablo Valley at the base of Mt. Diablo, and the other three towns are snuggled into the … Continue reading

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Alameda’s Denise Langowski

DENISE LANGOWSKI, Central Cooking Kitchen Manager, Alameda Unified School District, Alameda, CA Origin: San Francisco, CA Denise has spent most of her life in Alameda, where she works, but her family background is a diverse as California itself. “One grandfather … Continue reading

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Alameda’s India Chandler Advocates for Healthy Foods

INDIA CHANDLER, Manager, Food and Nutrition Services, The Academy of Alameda (Charter School), Alameda Unified School District, Alameda, CA Origin: Indonesia India Chandler’s mother never allowed her to cook. When she came to this country 32 years ago, she recalls, … Continue reading

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Alameda’s Diane Laviolette – The Hand That Feeds Them

DIANE LAVIOLETTE, KITCHEN MANAGER, Encinal High School/ Junior Jets Middle School Alameda Unified School District, Alameda, CA Origin: Alameda Diane, a 17-year veteran of Food and Nutrition Services at Alameda Unified School District, and prior to that, 20 years at … Continue reading

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“RC” Curva Sets Fresh Vision, Makeover, for CA’s Alameda USD School Lunch

Happy National School Lunch Week to all. This week we begin a feature on Alameda Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alameda, California Rafaelita “RC” Curva, pictured left, is Alameda Unified School District’s new director of Food … Continue reading

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