Washington U Chef Gets Cooking for Local Kids

By Jill Duncan, Marketing Manager

Executive Chef Patrick McElroy and some new friends at Captain Elementary

Patrick McElroy, executive chef of the Danforth University Center of Washington University in St. Louis, got to do some cooking for pint-size customers recently. Patrick was invited by the director of the Clayton School District to be guest chef for the day for a group of elementary school children. The idea was to help make positive changes to promote nutrition.Patrick and the director met at Captain Elementary to see if its kitchen was adequate (which it was) and discussed nutritional requirements of a school lunch. Patrick chose the entrée and the vegetable and provided recipes.

The menu, which focused on healthy, kid-friendly foods, pleased both students and parents. It included penne with ground turkey, carrot marinara sauce, and peas, as well as fresh green beans, salad, and fruit. The cafeteria staff, who are employed by Chartwells (one of our sister companies within Compass Group), worked with Patrick to prepare the meal.

Lunch participation went up 42 percent that day! Here’s what one parent had to say: “Hello, my son Dominic is a 5th grader at Captain. I wanted to thank you for arranging the chef last week. He absolutely loved it and told me that he wished he could come back. I would be all for that!!”