news-n-views
  
Newsletters > Archive > This Week's News >
Legendary Locals: Top Chef Reinvents RSM's Cafeteria Food
by: Debbie L. Sklar
0 Comments    
Cooking since the age of 15, Guazzo's food is top notch.
Cooking since the age of 15, Guazzo's food is top notch.

There’s no ordinary cafeteria food for students at St. John’s Episcopal School in RSM thanks to Chef Gene Guazzo and his wife Cheri, it’s all about healthy eating.

Since 2001, after 5 years with a local restaurant, the couple was approached to build and implement a “healthy lunch program.” Up until 7 years ago, before Guazzo’s Catering took over, meals were purchased from outside sources and redistributed “ready-to-eat” to the children. No other caterer at that time in California was licensed by the Health Department to prepare food made fresh “in house.”

The couple pioneered a program under strict guidelines to obtain a certificate rating allowing food to be prepared and monitored as if in an actual restaurant setting. Provisions were also made in their program to provide special dietary meals to children whose family or physician required them a special needs diet on a daily basis.

Currently, they are providing more than 2,800 meals per week and contracting privately catered events ranging from small dinner parties to corporate and wedding services. They have also expanded their operations to the East Coast and are marketing and selling dressings, soups, tapenades, and more via on-line, in boutiques and supermarkets.

According to Chef Gene who prepares the meals, “I became interested in cooking when I was 15 years old and I joined the Merchant Marines where I became a cook on the ship. I went to school for two summers so I could graduate early from high school. “

“We approached the school because I knew that this need was there based on the amount of obesity and diabetes growing in children. Also, even in private schools, children don't necessarily get the balanced meals they need to make it through the day,” says Cheri, who runs the administrative side of the operation.

In fact, Cheri developed the ever-evolving program based on Dr. Agastin (cardiologist) theory of what our bodies need to keep our hearts healthy and our bodies from becoming overweight.

“Children are the perfect candidate because they have not developed these bad habits and if they are starting too, it's quit easy to break them while they are young. For example, we are feeding the children in the nursery as they begin to eat solid foods. They are exposed to these flavors and textures and it becomes second nature for them to crave it. We survive best when we eat as much raw fruits and vegetables as possible. Time is the biggest killer of vitamins,” she says. 

As for what’s ahead, they are hoping to move the program to more schools and provide the service for students all over the County.

“This program is magic. There is nothing more rewarding than hearing a first grader say ‘Chef Gene, I love your food,’” the Chef says. “We need to get on board immediately for the future children. There are too many diagnosed illnesses that are linked to food. So many can be helped without medication. It simply takes changing their diet."

Chef Genes adds that the most rewarding aspect of the job is: “Having a parent call me early in the morning and ask if they can please pick up their child’s lunch even though the child is home sick because he wanted ‘Chef Gene’s homemade meatloaf, mashed potatoes gravy and a salad with Chef’s Balsamic-Ranch dressing.’ ”


Debbie L. Sklar is a 20+year journalism veteran residing in Southern California, where she is a writer, columnist and editor for many local, regional and national publications. Sklar may be reached via e-mail at DebbieSklar@cox.net
close    

What do you think? Leave your comment here.

 Articles
 Selma`s Chicago Pizzeria & Tap Room
B.Y.O.B Party, Thursday, April 29th, 6pm to 8pm!
Bring your own favorite 22oz Bottle of Beer to Share. CLICK to view our party...

 Friends The Sports Tavern
Buy One Sandwich and get the Second Sandwich FREE!!!
25% off all bottles of wine! CLICK to view our exciting week.

 El Toro Gourmet Meats
Receive $10.00 Off Your Next Purchase, View Our Specials And See How!
For the Absolute Best in Premium Meats, Seafood, Deli, Produce and Premium Wines

 Jersey Mike`s Subs
2 Dine For $12.99!
Includes 1 gigantic sandwich, 2 regular drinks and 2 regular chips...

 Teen Road To Safety Inc.
Taught By Current And Retired Law Enforcement Professionals
What more could a parent ask for! CLICK today to make an appointment!

 Orange County Plastic Surgery
Come To Our Evening of Beauty, Hors d oeuvres and Wine, April 20th
Reserve your seat today, Great Gifts and 20% off on products!

 Daily`s Sports Grill
Come By Any Day And Get 1/2 OFF Your Lunch!
Ice cold beer, great food & sports. CLICK to see whats NEW at Daily's!!

 Celinda`s Great Mexican Food
Try Our Delicious "3 Enchilada Entree" For 1/2 Price, CLICK To See How!
Don't forget Dessert! We have a new Choco Taco Ice Cream for only $1.49..

 Tommy Pastrami
"Now Serving Coors Light, Samuel Adams and Blue Moon on Tap!"
CLICK to see our Mondays and Tuesdays specials on pitchers.

 Saddleback Plumbing
Pre-Season Air Conditioning Tune-Up Special: Save Nearly 50%
$94 for an 18-Point A/C Service, Cleaning & Inspection. CLICK to see all our Money Saving Coupons!

 19th Hole Advertising
Discover a captive, affluent audience that spends money on golf
Advertise to one million golfers in Southern California... proven, effective way to sell your product.

Terms of Use   |    Privacy Policy            
© Copyright 2009 - 2010 by News-n-Views. All trademarks are used as property of their owners.