Boulder’s The Real School Food Challenge is Now National

Have you ever wondered why public school lunches look so… well, cheap? It’s because they are. With 30 million children to feed on a daily basis, schools only have an average of $1.25 per meal. The limited budget has made it difficult for schools to give children nutritional meals on a daily basis. That’s why in 2016 the Chef Ann Foundation began the Real School Food Challenge and tasked local chefs with the challenge of making a nutritious meal for $1.25. This year, the Challenge has gone national but still has three local participating chefs, Daniel Asher, Hosea Rosenberg and Alon Shaya. 

READ: A Local Foundation Seeks to Revolutionize School Lunch Programs Across the Country

To include the public in the newly-national competition and raise money for the Foundation, recipes are available on each chef’s restaurant menu through October. A portion of the recipe’s proceeds will go to the Chef Ann Foundation and five recipes will be chosen to compete at the StarChefs International Congress on Monday, October 28 in Brooklyn, New York. Stay tuned for an update on whether any of our local chefs had their recipe chosen for the competition. In the meantime, head to Santo Boulder to snag sweet potato and black bean enchiladas or Safta for roasted chicken with hummus and banana “ice cream” and River and Woods for Chinese stir fry slider with pickled vegetables and steamed bok choy/kale. 

“In addition to calling awareness to how we can improve school lunches, it’s also an exhilarating challenge for chefs to create delicious and nutritious meals on a low budget,” said Chef Shaya.

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“Chefs are getting a lot of attention these days, and it’s so inspiring to see how they are using that notoriety to give back,” said Chef Ann Foundation CEO Mara Fleishman. “Showing America what is capable in school food will bring attention to the work so many of us are doing with school districts, helping them serve healthier, less processed meals.”

Stop by each restaurant to try the recipes through October to support this unique fundraising event. And see below for national participating chefs.

Chef Charleen Badman | FnB, Scottsdale, Arizona
Chef Stephen Williams | Bouquet Restaurant, Ohio Valley
Chef Leonard Hollander | Arbor, Chicago, Illinois 
Chef Erik Bruner Yang | &pizza, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, NYC, Boston, Philly, Miami locations
Chef Toni Elkhouri | Cedar’s Café, Melbourne, Florida
Chef Gayle Pirie | Foreign Cinema, San Francisco, California
Chef Mihoko Obunai | Hosted by Brush, Atlanta
Chef Brandon Rosen | Hosted by CWC The Restaurant, Cincinnati, Ohio
Chef Nathanial Zimet | Boucherie, New Orleans, Louisiana

All photography courtesy SchroderHaus.