“Cafeteria Man” Goodness and Gratitude

Last Thursday evening,  I had the pleasure of seeing “Cafeteria Man” at the retro-restored-lovely Hollywood Theater.  You can view the film trailer by clicking here: http://cafeteriaman.com/viewtrailer. Yes, you’ll want to see the rest, so figure out how to screen it or purchase. (I would watch the film again in a heartbeat, so don’t forget to invite me!)

In addition to the documentary’s goodness, the evening had some incredibly bright spots for both myself personally, and The Curriculum of Cuisine.

On a personal note, the shine began when I was standing in line outside the theater. A charming  woman approached, Ms. Mary, who had an extra ticket, and offered it my way. Gifted! Shortly thereafter, my beloved arrived with a backpack full of his well-perfected freshly air-popped popcorn. Isn’t it amazing how things taste even better when you swindle them into the movies?  As we made our way into the screening theater, I was thrilled to see so many familiar faces: Leah, Harriet, Stacey, Shannon, Melissa, Gita. I even got to add a face to name, Mr. Rick Sherman, which was aptly-timed considering  our recent telephone meeting just the day prior.

Following the film there was a Q & A session with Shannon Stember, Assistant Director with PPS Nutrition Services, and Stacy Sobell, Farm to School Program Manager with Ecotrust. Both individually and collectively these ladies have done phenomenal work to get real, local, fresh food into cafeterias across our state. Judging from what they shared last night, they have some more great ideas up their sleeves, and are in the slow and steady process of making those notions a reality. Kudos!

During this discussion portion of the event is when the evening’s glimmer touched directly on The Curriculum of Cuisine (TCC). Very generously, in a couple of her responses to audience questions, Shannon nodded to the work I endeavor to do with TCC. Eventually, she invited me to stand and talk directly to the audience about the program.

Um, wow!

My on-the spot-speaking was a little nerve rattling, but I think I got across the gist The Curriculum of Cuisine. One point I know I failed to mention, as I couldn’t register and output my thoughts quickly enough at the time, is the way TCC can work to enhance the great work PPS Nutrition Services is already doing. For example, through the Harvest of the Month program, students are getting access to some wonderfully local and fresh fruits and vegetables.  In teaching students essential culinary skills, The Curriculum of Cuisine could build on that exposure by supporting students to prepare that newly discovered delight they had at lunch–like roasted rosemary potatoes–for dinner with their family and communities. In my opinion, that’s a pretty amazing demonstration of full-circle learning.

One hand gives to the other folks, and through collaboration and support big change becomes possible–just like in the movies….

With a swell of gratitude,

MM