Tag Archives: butter beans

We’re moving!

10 Jan

8684898607_08fbb6e352Greetings wonderful readers,

Our blog will be moving, and your subscription will be coming along with us.

However, if you are simply a “follower” but do not receive our posts in your email (and would like to!), please subscribe to our new blog site: www.butterbeanskitchen.com/blog – scroll to the bottom and you will see a subscriptions option.

Thank you all for your continued support and love for all things Butter Beans,  I am looking forward to sharing and connecting with you on our new site!

Photo courtesy of _rockinfree

the smile behind our lunch line

3 Jan
2013-11-29_19-35-03 Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a wonderful break, are feeling recharged, and are staying safe in the snow. We love featuring our Food Service Staff on our blog. They are so vital to the success of our programs. They are the face, the smile, the nurturing voice behind our lunch lines, helping our students make decisions, encouraging them to try new foods, and making lunch fun for our communities. Which is why we are featuring Vernan Douglas who is our Food Service Utility Attendant at one of our schools where we serve lunch. His enthusiasm for his role within Butter Beans, and love for supporting our students at lunch time inspired us to interview him.

What brought you to Butter Beans? A very good friend of mine was working for the company for over a year at the time. She kept speaking about how exciting and different it was, so I insisted on giving it a shot.

What are some of your highlights from your time working with the students? 

There is a student that always asks me if certain foods are Kosher. I always understood the basics about Kosher foods, but not all of the intricacies. He came up to me recently and asked me to sit down with him at lunch, and he explained to me all about what Kosher means. Our conversation inspired me to read more about it, and now I am much more knowledgeable. I was impressed with his awareness of his dietary restrictions.

Have you noticed a change in the food habits of the students?  Many of our students did not eat vegetables at the start of the school year. Though many of them are vegetarians, they would sometimes prefer to eat nothing over eating vegetables. When some students started choosing vegetables, we would congratulate them on how awesome their plates looked, and slowly their peers wanted some recognition too! Not only are they now consuming more vegetables, but they get so excited when they see the daily veggies that we offer. It feels good to see them walk off with their colorful plates!

What motivates you to do your best each day?

I enjoy feeding people good food, I enjoy smiles, and I am big on great health. The children that I serve on a daily basis are our future; if I can serve them a great meal and they come back and thank me, or tell me how great the food was, that’s enough motivation for me to do what I do everyday without a doubt. What do you like the most about your job? No matter what may be going on in my life, the students are always there for me, genuinely happy, and giving me hugs and high fives…that feeling there is priceless.

What is your favorite Butter Beans lunch to eat? The shepherd’s pie is AMAZING. That is by far my favorite lunch yet. I also enjoy our cheesy broccoli soup, I’ve never had anything like it!

Meet Flora, the voice behind the blog

16 Dec

headshot2After all of this time, we thought we would introduce you to Flora, our blog writer.

Read our interview with her to learn more about the voice behind the Butter Beans blog.

What is your role within Butter Beans?

I am the Director of Community and Nutrition, which entails liaising with our students, parents, and faculty, ensuring that they are heard and are happy with our program. I oversee the nutritional balance of our menus while also making sure that the food choices are exciting and interesting for the children who participate in our programs. I engage with our community through various outlets, support our schools on their sustainability and greening initiatives, and manage our social media, blog (yay!), and newsletter content. I also support Butter Beans marketing initiatives, and create programming for our food & garden summer camp.

How long have you been with Butter Beans?

I have been working for Butter Beans for 4 years! I started as an intern writing lesson plans and assisting with our food education classes, then I grew into a part-time position as a Food Service Supervisor and taught a few cooking classes. I then grew into a full-time position as a Food Service Supervisor at a new school, while also taking on the role of Food Operations Manager. From there I grew into the School Community Liaison role, and now into my current position. Lots of growth, can you tell why I love my job?

5314344693_2ceda69029Tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in New York City, with an Italian mother, and father from Queens, NY, whose parents moved to the United States from Belgium and Poland during WWII. My mothers’ family lived in Italy, so we would travel there to see them during school breaks. We would stay at my mothers’ home in a small town, where we grew our own vegetables, raised chickens, and cooked pizza in a brick oven. We also spent time on Long Island, where we also grew vegetables, and learned more about the natural world, and did a lot of fishing. Now, I have come to see how these childhood experiences have made a significant impact on my career, and life choices, and am ever grateful for it all.

How did you come to be the curator of the Butter Beans blog?

I had been working closely with Felicia, our VP + Co-Founder, who created and managed our blog, and founded our cooking classes and summer camp. After a while she asked me to write draft blog posts for her. A bunch of drafts and edits later, I was given the opportunity to take over the blog and create content on my own. It’s been a really fun adventure!

What inspires your content choices?

I know what it’s like to be a busy professional, juggling a million things at once. Which is why I choose to share quick, family friendly recipes that use good, seasonal ingredients, with easy instructions for all to follow.

What do you hope your readers will get from the Butter Beans blog?

I’d love for our readers to come away inspired to create healthy meals at home with their loved ones. I’d also love for them to feel invigorated by the way that food connects us all, and feel enriched by the knowledge that food can be medicine, which is why I like to include nutritional information into my posts.

What’s coming up for the Butter Beans blog?

We are looking into connecting our blog to our website, and changing the template to something more fresh and fun. We also want to start including more cooking class recipes, and recipes from our commissary kitchen that we know our students love. Maybe someday even create a cookbook!

Where can people go to learn more about children’s wellbeing and nutrition?

On our website we have a section called resources & links – there you will find some goodies. Also, find us on facebook, and look at our “likes” along with our twitter “followers” to engage with other like minded folks. There is so much goodness happening in the name of children’s wellbeing and nutrition!

Thank you all for reading; I can’t wait to continue sharing with you all!

Cheers,
Flora

Photo courtesy of living off grid

Our corporate chef

6 Nov

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.19.09 AMDid you know that our kitchen team cooks over 2,200 meals per day?

All of those meals take someone who oversees and directs the entire process, with acute attention to detail and the ability to multitask, problem solve, and manage a team.

We wanted to provide you with a glimpse of what it’s like inside our commissary kitchen, so we interviewed our Corporate Chef, Allen Stickell to learn more.

We hope you enjoy our conversation!

BB: What inspired you to become a chef?

Allen: “I became a Chef because I obviously had a natural love of food and respect for ingredients, but I really like that it gives me instant feedback. I love that on day to day basis I know if my work and projects are good or bad.”

BB: Where did you learn how to become a chef?

Allen: “I did a formal apprenticeship through the American Culinary Federation. I not only went to culinary school, but I also had to complete 6,000 hours under a Certified Chef. I also traveled and worked in some of the best kitchens in the country like Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago under Chef and owner Charlie Trotter, and Citronelle in Washington D.C. under Chef Michel Richard.”

chicken-dumplings-rs-1141202-lBB: Can you provide us with a glimpse of how our commissary kitchen runs?

Allen: “In our commissary kitchen we have 7 full time staff members, each with different skills but all equally important. Son Pham is our Sous Chef, who oversees the kitchen in my absence, he is the second in command. One of the newest member to our team is Allison Chung who is our Pastry Chef. She bakes our desserts, muffins and pizza dough, along with anything else that requires her unique skill set. Abbi is our Lead Cook and makes all the entrees, while Richard prepares all our vegetables and composed salads, G-Berry prepares our crudités and dips, and Miguel prepares all of our cold bar items. Last but not least, Gilberto is our dishwasher who cleans up the whole operation.”

BB: Why do you like working for Butter Beans? 

Allen: “I love what Butter Beans stands for. I think it is important to have a sense of where your food is coming from. I also think it is extremely important to make healthy choices when planning meals, and I feel like we are helping young people with that education. We are changing lives!”

BB: What is your favorite Butter Beans lunch to eat, and what is your favorite Butter Beans lunch to create?

Allen: “I love to eat our chicken and dumplings, and I love to create soups, along with creating new and healthy ways to cook classics that kids love.”

BB: What motivates you to do your best everyday?

Allen: “What motivates me is that I actually go to work feeling that I’m making a difference in the world around me. It makes me proud.”

Thanks Allen for all of your hard work and dedication, and for creating delicious dishes for our students!

Photo courtesy of myrecipes.com

Thank you!

19 Aug

3qNfPt0rJP3RKzc50poFB_F7PeNYaweSJOvp49tJcHg (1)A big thank you goes out to all of our families that participated this summer in our food & garden summer camp!

From beekeeping, chocolate tasting, watering, composting, cheese making, cooking, gardening, farmers market shopping, yoga practicing, playing, chicken holding, jam making, urban farming, ice cream tasting and kimchi making, our campers had the time of their life!

Our favorite quote of this summer was from a mom who posted on our facebook page. Her quote sums up the impact that our camp has on our campers, hopefully for years to come!

“My son tells us this has been the best six weeks of camp he’s ever had. He’ll be sad when camp ends today! He has loved the counselors, the cooking, the gardening and the fantastic field trips. Butter Beans has been a truly enriching experience for him. At home we’ve been amazed to hear about what he’s done each day. We so enjoy reaping the benefits of his supercharged love of cooking and his real awareness of what good healthy food is and where it comes from. Best of all, he’s really absorbed what it means to be eco-conscious! Wow!”

Here’s to next summer, filled with food, gardening and fun!