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Daniel Giusti talks to Learning ZoneXpress about school food lunches

Daniel Giusti, Melanie Nelson, Joyce Mattson & Londa Arnfelt Daniel Giusti, Melanie Nelson, Joyce Mattson & Londa Arnfelt

Daniel Giusti, a superstar in the world of chef's, has resigned his post as head chef for Noma's exquisite restaurant in Copenhagen. (Noma has been voted best restaurant in the world 4 out of the last 5 years!) Daniel has big plans to transform key thinking in the industry of food industry -- starting with school lunches.

And where does someone start such an adventure? Learning from the experts in the world of school lunch - including the leaders of Learning ZoneXpress. He met with them earlier this week to discuss launching a food service start up called Brigaid. It’s an exciting effort to get chefs into schools. Here’s how he described it for Lucky Peach

Brigaid comes from brigade, which obviously means a group of chefs. The “aid” will be in shooting to solve some of the problems with our food system, predominately involved with school food. Brigaid will be a for-profit company that aims to put chefs in schools. What makes it different from other food-service companies that are catering to schools at the moment is that it’s based on having kitchens in schools and chefs cooking in those kitchens.

Aramark, Compass—statistically these are some of the highest grossing companies in the food industry, not just in school food. A lot of these big companies like Aramark are pushing for like 20 percent profit margins, which is extremely high in any food business. In restaurants you’re lucky if you’re making 5 percent in bottom-line profit. So to shoot for 20 percent—that’s not what we’re going for. In the end we want a profit margin that allows us to maintain the business. The goal is not to become rich.

Profit, for me, means that we continue to push forward and makes sure we can pay people—and I’m not talking about myself or other higher-up people. I want to be able to train people who are currently working in school cafeterias. I want to train them to know more, and also pay them more for that knowledge.

It’s a fantastic approach. We wish him all of the luck in the world – we’re thrilled to hear about the whole movement.

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