International Gathering of Chefs Launch New Grant Program for Chefs Move to Schools, Funded by California's Grape Farmers

Jun 08, 2011, 18:31 ET from California Table Grape Commission

FRESNO, Calif., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of chefs and culinary professionals converged on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol this week to mark the first anniversary of Chefs Move to Schools (CMTS).  This celebration also marked the creation of a new grant program for CMTS, administered by The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic arm of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, with initial funding from the California Table Grape Commission.

The International Association of Culinary Professionals' (IACP) 33rd Annual Conference was in Austin, Texas from June 1-4, 2011.  The crowd included luminaries such as Food Network Star and cookbook author Ellie Krieger, White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, IACP President Cynthia Glover, Chair of The Culinary Trust Karin Endy, National Director of Share Our Strength's Cooking Matters program Janet McLaughlin, and California Table Grape Commission Vice President Jim Howard.

Founded by First Lady Michelle Obama, CMTS is an obesity prevention initiative that creates partnerships between chefs and schools in their community to bring healthy meals, nutrition information and cooking education to students.

"California's fresh grape farmers have long been involved in nutrition and education programs like Chefs Move to Schools and are proud to provide the initial grant that will enable the Trust to contribute to its continued success," said Howard.  "The grant will help provide nutritional education to students in communities across the country and will aid in the fight against childhood obesity."

Following the event at the capitol on June 1, select VIPs participated in Three Hot Chefs, a fundraising event sponsored by California's fresh grape farmers to benefit the new grant program.  Three Hot Chefs featured:  Iron Chef America and James Beard Award winner Holly Smith who is executive chef and owner of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Washington, Tyson Cole the chef at Uchi and Uchiko in Austin, Texas and a recent James Beard award winner, and Brad Farmerie, the Iron Chef America winner and executive chef of the Michelin Star restaurant, Public, in New York City.

More than 125 culinary leaders, cookbook authors and national food writers took in the action as the chefs prepared their own take on healthy, vibrant cooking in keeping with the mission of the new grant.  Through the funds raised at the California grape-sponsored Three Hot Chefs event as well as the initial grant from California's fresh grape farmers, approximately $35,000 will be donated to The Culinary Trust to support Chefs Move to Schools.

About Chefs Move to Schools - The Chefs Move to Schools program, run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will help chefs partner with interested schools in their communities so together they can create healthy meals that meet the schools' dietary guidelines and budgets, while teaching young people about nutrition and making balanced and healthy choices.

About The Culinary Trust - The Culinary Trust, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, celebrates the culinary past and funds the culinary future through scholarship, grant and preservation programs that encourage and enable professionals in the pursuit of the culinary arts.

About the California Table Grape Commission - The California Table Grape Commission has a 30-year history of supporting educational and childhood nutrition programs.  It was created by the California legislature in 1967 to increase worldwide demand for fresh California grapes through a variety of research and promotional programs.

McKinzey Crossland

SOURCE California Table Grape Commission