Fresh Fish Tacos for School Lunch in Monterey’s Bay to Tray Program

Update on Monterey Peninsula School District – Special Post from Jenn Gerard, Director of Nutrition Services 

We caught up with Jenn recently, whom we featured earlier, and she told us that Monterey Peninsula School District is now  offering students locally caught and freshly prepared Fish Tacos (click for recipe link) with a Cilantro Coleslaw for lunch as part of our Bay to Tray program.  “The Bay to Tray program acts like a Farm to School program, but focuses the efforts on the bounty of our oceans,” she told us, “which many students can view outside of their classroom windows.”  She tested the Fish Tacos with the high school students, found the prep to be easier than expected, and sold out before any other entree – including our homemade pizzas!  “The next test came at the elementary level,” she said, “where we were wiped out after 2nd grade, with student excitement and interest unexpectedly high toward the new menu feature.”

Jenn sees this as a foundation to educating students on food, habitat and our diet’s impact on the environment and vice versa.  By creating dishes that students get excited, we hold their attention and the ability to educate.  Her program is currently engaging in dialogue with local fishermen to have them make appearances in classrooms throughout the district next year.


 And, guess what? The district is hiring a culinary specialist! Details below.

“Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Nutrition Services is searching for a dynamic and experienced Culinary Specialist to provide culinary leadership and development in the school meal program.  This unique position will guide and inspire the development and promotion of menu concepts & recipes, staff training and student engagement for quality, healthy and financially solvent school meals and caterings within MPUSD and the community.”

The perfect candidate will be an engaging communicator and facilitator – in and out of the kitchen – with relevant culinary education and at least three years of experience in commercial food preparation and/or operations.

This full-time, managment position will be based in Monterey, California and begins immediately upon hire.  Starting salary is $53,466.00, plus benefits, based on a 222 day contract.

Full job description and application instructions are available at:

Closes 4pm on Wednesday, June 25th.

Contact Jenn Gerard, Director of Nutrition Services, 831-392-3947 

or for more information about the position and MPUSD’s Nutrition Department.

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