Let's Go!
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Culinary Skills for School Meals Training

The Culinary Skills for School Meals training is a 5-day hands-on intensive culinary training for school nutrition professionals focusing on foundations for food service, including knife skills, cooking techniques, and kitchen efficiencies, to improve the culinary skills of school nutrition professionals.

Culinary Skills for School Meals

Get an inside look at the culinary trainings. Hear from organizers and participants about the hands-on experience and the value behind the training. 

2024 Culinary Skills for School Meals Accepted Programs

Congratulations to the School Nutrition Programs across the state who were accepted into the Maine Culinary Skills for School Meals Trainings happening in South Portland and Farmington this summer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Improve the culinary skill level of school nutrition professionals
  • Increase the quality and appeal of meals served to students
  • Increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits, dairy, whole grains, plant proteins and lean meats within the context of balanced menu planning for school-aged children
  • 28 training hours
  • Increased confidence with knife skills, meal preparation and cooking techniques
  • Opportunity for hands-on experience, learning tips & tricks to share with colleagues, time dedicated to troubleshoot problems, cook and taste 24 recipes each day that can be standardized to fit your kitchen and equipment
  • Learn from others in a team environment
  • Cooks & kitchen managers
  • Staff representing all students grades (K-12) participating in the National School Lunch Program
  • Directors or menu developers
  • There are 24 spots available
  • A maximum of 3 people per school nutrition program
  • It is free to attend the Culinary Skills for School Meals Training thanks to funding from Full Plates Full Potential and Let’s Go!
  • Yes. There is limited financial aid for mileage, staff time and accommodations
  • When considering expenses note:
    • Mileage reimbursement rate is 65.5 cents per mile
    • Hotel expense approximately $180-250 per night
  • The daily schedule is
    • Monday- Knife skills
    • Tuesday- Vegetable cookery
    • Wednesday- Great grains
    • Thursday- Sandwiches
    • Friday- Salads
  • Each day will include:
    • Chef Demo
    • Culinary hands-on lab
    • Nutrition lesson
  • Participants will attend all 5 days
    • 8 am - 3 pm Monday-Thursday, 8 am - 1 pm on Friday
  • Participants will complete a pre-survey, daily evaluation, and 6-month post-survey
  • Directors will complete the Let's Go! Self-Assessment
  • Join us for lunch at least one of the days (Tuesday - Friday)
  • Be willing to put ideas, strategies and recipes into practice after the training
  • The Culinary Skills for School Meals was piloted in Maine in August 2023 with 26 participants from 10 school districts across the state from Aroostook to York County. Participants reported by the end of the training they more confident in applying their new cooking skills.
  • Each participant completed a pre- and post-survey measuring current behavior. View results.
  • This model is adaptable for different size districts. It has been used in small rural districts and large urban districts in various locations across the country including Indiana (small and rural districts), New York City (large, urban district), and California.