The flavor of FLAVOURS at AISB
In the 2015 – 2016 school year the change of the AISB Cafeteria provider was one of the greatest changes the school leadership made. After a normal period of adjustment, the relationship between the AISB community and the Flavors crew is entering its second year.
Daniel Obretin and I sat down and looked together at the results of the 15-16 AISB Parent Survey, planning improvements in the next school year. Below is our discussion and questions I have asked based on the issues noted in the survey:
“I have a 10 years’ experience in the food industry, from which 6 years in the AISB Cafeteria. I love this job and if I had to choose my professional path again, I would undoubtedly choose food industry. I am sure that with the proper knowledge, we can make a difference in our children`s lifestyles, helping them be healthier and happier. A healthy way of living is not just a statement for me it is my creed and I am willing to encourage and continuously support it into the AISB community.
We are seeking a perfect balance between tasty and healthy, which is why we are able to adapt the menus to the needs of each child.”
How is the weekly menu put together? Do you consult with a nutritionist to establish the menu?
The weekly menu is put together by me and a group of parents who want to be involved. Once the menu is finalized, a nutrition adviser decides if it meets the nutritional balance we always seek.
We remain open continuously to suggestions and ideas regarding the menu or new dishes that children would prefer. While we are looking to offer nutritious and healthy meals, first of all we want students enjoying their food experience with Flavours.
Why do you advise that students take the full menu instead of just choosing whatever they want from the presented dishes?
Last year, the Leadership team of the school together with the PTO, due to the previous Cafeteria experience, decided in favor of full menus, because when the children were allowed to choose the meals for themselves, most of them would just choose dessert or two pasta dishes every day, sandwiches etc. Therefore, the meals lacked balance.
The first benefit of the full menu is that they now have soup, main course, salad or garnish and a dessert or fruit for lunch every day – rather than a larger helping of one single dish, they get to eat a little bit of various food groups, needed for their wellbeing. There is a vegetarian option as well. They can choose from 3 types of menus daily and they can mix the available dish assortment as they please from these menus.
There is also a financial benefit for the parents - the full fixed menu is more cost effective then purchasing dishes separately.
Where do you purchase the meat from?
The meat Flavors uses in all of the dishes we prepare is purchased from the best butcher shops that can provide us with a Declaration of Conformity and a Halal Certificate of Origin. We use only fresh meat; we never purchase the meat minced. In this case we prefer to prepare the minced meat ourselves, on the spot, to preserve the taste. We do not use meat additives. All the ingredients are natural.
Where do you purchase the fruits and vegetables from?
We purchase the fruits and vegetables from accredited companies. I personally check every supplier. About 70% from these suppliers bring the merchandise from local producers.
What interesting plans do you have for the 2016 – 2017 school year?
We are planning to send to the parents more information regarding menus and Cafeteria activities as well as launching a Facebook page and blog, where the parents can see more pictures and “how it`s made” videos, best recipes and a suggestions` section, and AISB events section.