Kim Witherspoon Honored at Bronx Academy of Letters Gala

I wanted to give a shout out to Kim Witherspoon, a fantastic woman who is, not only my book agent, but a founding member of Bronx Academy of Letters.

In the culinary world she has represented many chefs with their books, but what a lot of people might not know is that she's a founding member of this public charter school that encourages students to be articulate, critical readers and writers. 

I've always expressed myself through my cooking but I also know how valuable it is to be able to express yourself through written word. It's fitting that Bronx Academy of Letters honors Kim Witherspoon tonight at its Chef's Tasting Gala and I'll be there with my friend Anthony Bourdain to celebrate her achievement. Congratulations Kim!

Photo: Courtesy of Bronx Academy of Letters

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One School's Amazing Journey From Unhealthy To Healthy

It's amazing to see a transformation from unhealthy to healthy food in school cafeterias. Often isolated in wealthy schools, the Family Life Academy Charter School (Flacs) in Harlem has revamped their lunch line to feature fresh, whole, healthy foods. At Flacs, kids happily eat roasted chicken, spinach, and oranges according to a New York Times article "Bronx Charter Makes Eating Well Part of Its Philosophy." Banned foods at Flacs include chocolate milk and ketchup. Despite cutting out these beloved staples, which promote dependence on sugary foods, kids are enjoying the meals!

Encouraging kids to start eating healthily early and introducing them to a broad range of foods will help them stay happy and healthy as they grow older. Flacs was able to make the transition from food supplied by the Department of Education to a menu designed and prepared by a professional chef.

Principle Francisco Paco Genko-ji Lugovia±a looked to the private Calhoun School for culinary inspiration. Kale and other healthy ingredients are staples in the cafeteria there. After a round of fundraising and "five years developing its nutrition revolution," Flacs serves healthy fare to smiling kids.

What's so amazing about this new program is that the chef at Flacs, Bennett Fins, has reduced the cost per child per day from $2.82 to $2.60. If he can do this on a tighter budget, maybe more schools can make a healthier lunch plan work!

It would be amazing if all schools could follow Flacs example. Read the entire the article here.