Chef Dan Giusti, founder of Brigaid and former Head Chef of the world-renowned restaurant, Noma in Copenhagen, will keynote the United Fresh Start Foundation’s FreshStart 2019 Breakfast General Session on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California. The program is focused on how the produce industry increases children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables, in schools, in communities, and through our own businesses.
With a desire to feed more people and the knowledge that chefs are uniquely suited to work within the limitations of the National School Lunch program, Giusti began Brigaid to change the narrative surrounding good meals for kids at school. Brigaid strives to make more delicious meals for students and improve the dining experience by bringing trained chefs into school cafeterias.
“We are working hard to change the perception of school food and also what it means to be a chef in a school,” said Giusti, according to a press release. “We view the idea of running a food service operation in a school just the same as we would in a restaurant. From the sourcing of quality ingredients, to the thoughtful preparation and service of customer appropriate meals, there’s no reason that food purveyors and chefs alike should not be striving to elevate the standard of food offered in schools.”
Since 2016, Brigaid has operated in the six public schools of New London, Connecticut, serving scratch-made breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to almost 4,000 students each day. As of 2018, Brigaid also has partnered with New York City Public Schools to begin service in six schools in the Bronx. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Giusti was the Head Chef at Noma, where for four years he contributed to the restaurant’s consistent status as the best restaurant in the world.
“It’s exciting to learn that Chef Giusti’s passions align with our own,” said Phil Muir, president & CEO of Muir Copper Canyon Farm and chairman, United Fresh Start Foundation Board of Trustees, according to a press release. “I’m encouraged by the work he’s doing in schools and by his influence on the culinary career path of future chefs.”
FreshStart 2019, which kicks off with the annual golf tournament followed by the “Bids for Kids” live and silent auction, also will include United Fresh’s traditional volunteer leader meetings and the annual Gala Dinner recognizing the recipient of United Fresh’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Last year’s auction and golf tournament raised over $100,000 to support the United Fresh Start Foundation’s mission of increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
To register for FreshStart 2019, visit unitedfreshstart.org. The event is open to all United Fresh members for $200, with a non-member rate of $400. Participation in the United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament is additional.
Photo courtesy of United Fresh