Culinary Operations Manager will follow new food philosophy in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District | SierraSun.com

Culinary Operations Manager will follow new food philosophy in the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District

Special to the Sun

Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; With a resume ranging from culinary apprenticeship at Walt Disney World to designing menus for visiting Olympic athletes, Danny Stoddard is primed for his new position as Tahoe Truckee Unified School Districtand#8217;s culinary operations manager.

Stoddard will be responsible for bringing the districtand#8217;s new food philosophy to life by developing recipes, menus and supervising food production. The goal is to provide fresh, seasonal and prepared food from scratch as much as possible within the requirements of the USDA National School Lunch Program. Additionally, the meals will not include partially hydrogenated fats or high fructose corn syrup. Sugar, salt and additives will be kept to a minimum and there will be no fried foods.

and#8220;Iand#8217;m up for the challenge,and#8221; said Stoddard, noting he looks forward to adopting the school districtand#8217;s new nutritional tenants into his diet as well. and#8220;My goal is that the food will be so good that parents will want to meet their children for lunch at school.and#8221;

What types of cuisine can parents and students expect from Chef Dannyand#8217;s scratch-made school kitchens? Hint and#8212; this isnand#8217;t typical mystery meat. One day students may dig into a hearty beef stew in a whole wheat bread bowl with a spinach side salad garnished with dried cranberries. The next day, the menu may include a roasted vegetable and marinated pork wrap with chipotle mayo and sliced peaches. Importantly, all of the lunch entrees will include a vegetarian option.

Originally from Sparks, Nev., Stoddard served as an apprentice at Walt Disney World and was later hired by the resort to manage large-scale special events catering. He later served as an executive chef at Ormond Memorial Hospital, Ormond Beach, Fla., and as the dietary manager at Kennert Retirement Center, Orlando. After his tenure in Florida, Stoddard worked as an executive chef at University of California, Berkeley where he fed athletes at the universityand#8217;s Training Table program and also catered the NCAA Basketball Regional Finals. Collectively, he has 20 years of culinary experience including 12 years in management where he became well versed in all aspects of menu planning, ordering, quality control, food safety and training employees.

With just a week or so under his belt, Stoddard is assessing his new culinary territory. He is carefully evaluating the districtand#8217;s 10 kitchens, equipment and vendors. Importantly, Stoddard will train kitchen staffers on the intricacies of safe food preparation as the district switches to fresh-made food production.

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TTUSD Food Services Director Rose Wolterbeek says she looks forward to partnering with Stoddard.

and#8220;He has great experience, knowledge and the enthusiasm needed to bring the menus alive for students,and#8221; Wolterbeek says. and#8220;We have a wonderful opportunity to change the idea of a school lunch, and he understands the goals and challenges ahead to help me usher in a new era of healthier foods for the district.and#8221;

Kelli Twomey is a TTUSD parent and active member of the Truckee Tahoe Nutrition Coalition that helped draft the districtand#8217;s new food improvement philosophy and guidelines. She says Stoddardand#8217;s appointment is a key step in improving the health and wellness of the entire community and bucking the obesity trend.

and#8220;Chef Danny will work with each schooland#8217;s food service to implement freshly made meals at their school sites,and#8221; said Twomey. and#8220;Thereand#8217;s also a great opportunity to teach the kids healthy eating habits from an early age that they can bring home as well.and#8221;

The revamped school nutritional plan is set officially to launch in early 2011.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com