Our head chef, Cindy Croteau, sat down with Admissions Officer Steve Joudoin to speak about what’s on the menu for Fulford Academy students, how the kitchen works with dietary restrictions, and what the most popular dish is (there are many contenders)!
Cindy and her staff make great food and are very popular with students. 🙂
What is your philosophy around healthy eating for young people and handling special requests?
The kitchen is always the heart of the home and it is no different here at Fulford. We have had many children find their way into the kitchen to request food from home or to express their likes and dislikes. I explain that while we might not be able to get all of the ingredients for certain dishes we can cook with familiar flavours and students find comfort in that aspect. When students have specific dislikes, I request for them to give me a list of preferred items and flavours, in return, I ask if they are open to trying a very small portion of something they have never had before and many times they surprise themselves in like a new food.
As I am writing this, a Brazilian student has come into the kitchen to ask if we can make some festival foods as it is Carnival at home. When I have these types of requests, I do my homework and come up with a few dishes.
At each meal, a student stands up and reads the menu for that particular meal. When a student asks for a special meal from their country, I ask them to read out the menu and explain the special meal to their classmates. It is always a pleasure to hear about different foods from someone’s home and country! When we prepare a special requested dish, it really makes their eyes light up and always puts a big smile on their face.
What would you say is the most popular dish that you make for students?
One of our more popular dishes has been beef tacos, the kids love that they have many choices on toppings for their tacos.
What sort of dietary restrictions do you have to work with when preparing meals?
Dietary restrictions include Muslim diets, vegetarians and allergies. When preparing food for the students, these items have to be prepared first so that there is no cross-contamination. We also have a couple of children that have certain dislikes (ie. salmon) so when we have a dish I know they will not enjoy, I will make them something else. Although I still encourage them to try small amounts of things that are not familiar to them.