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theschoolboards
06-29-2012, 10:09 AM
From SchoolBook (http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/06/28/this-could-be-the-foodiest-school-in-new-york/) by Kyle Spencer:

It’s no secret that inside New York City schools mini food revolutions are under way. There are rooftop gardens, fancy salad bars, junk food exorcisms and celebrity chefs who drop in to whip up mouthwatering pestos and tangy fruit shakes.

But Public School 150, a stone’s throw away from Nobu, Landmarc and the venerable Odeon in Lower Manhattan, inhabits a culinary world of its own.

During parent-teacher conferences, staff members are rewarded with homemade stratas, spiced bean chilies and exotic salads, courtesy of the school’s principal, Maggie Siena, who has a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated and a background in restaurant management.

For big PTA meetings, dinner is a given. Japanese parents arrive with slabs of raw fish stuffed into giant sushi rolls. South American parents contribute marinated steak quesadillas. And in recent years, Suikerbrood, a sugar loaf spattered with ginger and cinnamon, has become a distinct favorite, thanks to a group of families from Holland.

At a ceremony to cap off a first-grade unit on grain, the star dish was nine-layer phyllo pie painstakingly made by a Croatian parent. The pie includes poppy seeds, walnuts and dark raisins soaked overnight.

“Food permeates just about everything we do here,” said Christina Santiago, who serves as both the school’s math coach and the go-to person for anything that has a food tie-in.

And at P.S. 150 (also known as the Tribeca Learning Center) a small, tight-knit school that towers over the cobblestone streets of TriBeCa, there are many.

While other kindergartners leisurely tour their neighborhoods as part of the city-approved social studies curriculum, the ones at P.S. 150 inspect restaurant meat lockers, examine commercial-grade flour mixers, eyeball huge chunks of top-quality chocolate in the back rooms of bake shops, and interview chefs, busboys and frommeliers, tasting cheeses, pastries, salads and breads along the way.

Students draw intricate plans of restaurant interiors — the cook line and the prep area — and are expected to know what a sous-chef does and what it means when an item is “86” (out of stock).

It is all part of a six-month restaurant unit Ms. Santiago designed to teach students about community, cooperation and the way individual cuisines reflect the cultures they came from.

read more>> (http://www.nytimes.com/schoolbook/2012/06/28/this-could-be-the-foodiest-school-in-new-york/)