A little bit about me…

I blame it all on my Mom. When I was twelve or so, I told her I liked cooking. She said that she would clean the kitchen if I cooked dinner, and that’s what first inspired me to become a chef. Fast forward a few years, and I have accumulated 39 years as a food service professional.

After logging twenty years as a chef in restaurants and country clubs, I switched gears to have more family time and entered the world of school food service.

During those 17 years as food service director, my team and I developed a model Farm to School and scratch cooking program that gained national attention. Every menu, and in every building, locally procured foods were being served daily.

I am inspired by the Farm to School movement’s potential to reintroduce kids to scratch-cooked, fresh foods!

Inspiring school food pros to “get back to basics” with scratch cooking in their own operations and the power of the Farm to School movement is extremely inspiring. Farm to school and scratch cooking go hand-in-hand and have the power to transform school food service in such a positive way.


One of the most important changes he made was implementing a farm-to-school program which greatly increased the quality of the meat and produce used in our kitchens. Over time, our kitchens used fewer federal commodities and came to rely increasingly on local farmers. As a result, the meals we served were healthier and tastier and our local economy was bolstered by our purchasing practices. Kent and the kitchen managers worked hard to broaden the palates of students by organizing Taste of Washington events in which students could experience a broad range of fruits and vegetables. It is difficult to get kids and parents excited at the prospect of cafeteria food, but Kent and his staff accomplished that in our district because they were committed to serving our students quality food.

Jon DeJong

Deputy Superintendent, Wenatchee School District

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