The Grapevine-Colleyville (TX) ISD has turned to a somewhat unusual source for recipes to upgrade its school lunch menus: a local specialty grocery store called Market Street, a division of United Supermarkets, that sells gourmet-quality ready-to-eat meals to upscale shoppers with sophisticated tastes but no time to cook.
Market Street Executive Chef Chris Wilson was initially reluctant to share his recipes, fearing that they would not get made properly and that his operation's reputation would suffer as a consequence. Fortunately, that didn't happen as the school district's kitchens have successfully duplicated the meals.
Meanwhile, it gives Market Street and Wilson a sense of community involvement, even though the prices charged for his creations in the school lunch lines—about $2—is significantly less than what is charged in the store.
"This is a commitment of the schools to their students," Wilson says, "and we're proud to continue our commitment to the community by being a part of this effort."
As for the district, it turned to the recipes in an attempt to enhance its school lunch menu. Julie Telesca, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD director of nutrition services, said she's been looking for a way to enhance menu selections, and partnering with Market Street was a way to bring new ideas and unique recipes to the table.
"We wanted to think outside the box," she says. "The Market Street store is already so appreciated by the community, and incorporating their recipes into our school menu has been a welcome addition to our efforts."
Offerings concocted from Market Street recipes have included jalapeno meatloaf, stacked enchiladas and chicken-anddumplings with baked bowtie pasta and pomodora sauce.
Colleyville Heritage High School became the first to implement the new recipes in October.
The meals are prepared to Market Street specifications and Wilson is working with cafeteria staff to develop additional selections for the future. Other Grapevine—Colleyville schools implemented the new selections in January.