Alexandria school chef cooks up creative ways to educate children about food from home


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — One Alexandria City Public School chef isn’t letting COVID-19 stop him from educating his students about food.

Chef Isaiah Ruffin is cooking up some creative ways to serve meals and educate children about healthy foods. One of his segments, “Cooking with Chef Isaiah,” displays the chef cooking different meals from countries across the globe a mask on.

He created initiatives to incorporate local foods and culture, creating virtual videos to teach children how to cook safely from home. One of his most popular segments, “Around the World Wednesday,” teaches children different dishes from across the globe. Now, he has created a monthly program to create plant-based meals from other countries.

“Every month, I create a plant-based dish from a different country…I really drew inspirations from the demographics of our learners,” said Ruffin. “This year, we’re going to expand it to all schools and we want to focus on telling the stories of our staff, parents, and children.”

Ruffin also wants to focus more on farm to table meals. “Our farm to school program, we’re really trying to ramp it up this year,” he said. “We’re going to be using things like honey, mushrooms, microgreens out of an urban farm in D.C.”

Ruffin says that this year, they are targeting food quality. He says that the quality of food being delivered to the students should be the same as it would be if the students were attending class in person.

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