Let's bring school food up to date!My name is Max Huppert and I am the Director of Nutrition for the Steamboat Springs School District.
I started off my culinary education at Baltimore International College and have now been in the food industry for 25 years. When I was chosen for this position I was determined to change the perception of school food and create a healthy, nutritious menu that would be free from preservatives and made from scratch. I am committed to use fresh quality products and do not use any of the commodity items that you will find in all other public schools. Me and my crew make food - we don't just serve it!
"Last week had natural disasters, political turmoil and crazy weather. None shocked me more than the Jan. 11 lunch menu for Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools.
For those of you who missed it, the K-5 kids were offered only a vegetable frittata with grilled baby octopus and focaccia bread. The high school kids with more sophisticated palates were offered scampi on couscous with garlic bread and roasted veggies. South Routt offered a burger and fries, and Hayden had spaghetti Bolognese. Christian Heritage School did their usual takeout because they donít have kitchen facilities.
My son can eat me under the table at the sushi bar, but even he has a tough time with whole baby octopus and its texture issues. I was curious, so I went over to Strawberry Park for a taste of the little clingy buggers dressed in citrus, Frankís Red Hot sauce, and one other ingredient I canít remember. As two teachers and I were getting a sample, in walked Max Huppert, the school districtís director of nutritional services. He obviously knew the menu choice would raise a few eyebrows, so he was making the rounds.
ďThe kids at Soda Creek are eating it up,Ē he boasted.
I had a taste and it wasnít bad. It needed a bit more citrus, in my opinion, but that is way beside the point. You might think that Iím leading you down a path of disapproval, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Other than diction, and audience, I applaud Max for being innovative. Itís more than I can say for many eating establishments in town. Rock on, Max."
Bill Doyne Steamboat Springs