We bring about systemic change in the cafeteria.

Our flagship WITS Café program operates within public school kitchens, supporting the implementation of scratch cooking, healthy school lunch recipes, and the expansion of salad bars. WITS Chefs work alongside school food staff in the kitchens, training them in basic culinary skills and scratch-cooked recipe preparation. Topics range from knife skills to storage and organization.

We begin our work by deeply immersing ourselves into cafeterias. We gradually scale back our presence as school cooks learn how to prepare the new menu on their own.

PS 87 WITS Cafe Day. Photo by Ari Mintz 11/8/2012.

WITS culinary school graduates work in schools to train school staff to prepare scratch-cooked menus. Together, we strive to provide:

  • Meals made from unprocessed ingredients.
  • A salad bar daily with dressings made from scratch.
  • At least one fresh fruit daily (not canned or in syrup).
  • Fresh vegetables (frozen only when necessary and never canned).
  • Only whole grain pasta, bread, and rice.
  • Access to water daily at lunch, eliminating sweetened milk in the cafeteria.
  • Support of sustainable cafeteria practices.

WITS Café DaysThroughout the year, we offer WITS Café Days, where our Chefs offer interactive tastings to encourage students to choose healthy foods and sample new menu items. Oftentimes, our local Chef Partners visit school cafeterias on these days to prepare extra special tastings.