In response to First Lady Obama’s “Let’s Move Campaign”, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Program”, and the Department of Labor’s efforts to improve the health of Job Corps students, the National Job Corps Association hosted its first-ever “Job Corps’ Top Chefs: Creating Healthy and Nutritious Food Services Professional Development Training Course” held from October 20-22 in Washington, D.C.
Over 20 Job Corps Food Services Managers from across the country participated in a 3-day, interactive training experience that included a personal tour of the First Lady’s organic garden led by Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives.
The course culminated in a “Top Chef” style contest at the Dept. of Agriculture where Job Corps Food Service Managers were teamed-up and challenged to prepare dishes (a side dish, entrée, or dessert) using local, sustainable ingredients gathered at the White House Fresh Farmer’s Market. Four Job Corps students from the Potomac Job Corps
Center, along with USDA Deputy Sec. Kathleen Merrigan,USDA Agriculture Economist Jim Barham, Sodexo Executive Chef John Rocca, Nat’l Directorof Job Corps Edna Primrose and NJCA Chair Richard Schubert served as judges.
Only 3 teams were crowned Job Corps “Top Chef” champions and we’re proud that our own YvonneAragon was on the winning team in the Dessert category (shown center with team mates from David Carrasco JCC and Red Rock JCC).