Nestle Corporate Executive Chef Mario Reyes with Nestle Foodservice regional business manager Keith Spielman and Catholic High School FSD Mary Lou James.
Not many people get to eat dishes designed by a certified master chef, especially one who is a regular on the Iron Chef circuit of serious culinarians. And such dishes are especially unlikely in a setting such as the lunchroom of a Louisiana Catholic high school.
Yet, there was Mario Reyes, corporate executive chef for Nestle USA and a certified master chef with Epicurean World Master Chefs, working in the kitchen at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, preparing a dish of Chicken Teriyaki With Cashews, Rice Pilaf and Side Salad with Tossed Greens, Apples and Bananas.
Reyes was at the all-male 900-student Catholic High to help Nestle create a healthy eating program for teenagers at the request of FSD Mary Lou James. The chicken teriyaki dish Reyes was helping prepare was one of the selections in a three-week recipe cycle designed by a Nestle dietitian especially for a teen male population such as the one at Catholic High.
The aim of the program, says James, is to teach the school's students about good food choices and to emphasize that nutritious eating doesn't require one to eliminate good-tasting dishes from one's diet.
Many of the new, healthier options resemple to older, less healthy fare except that they are prepared differently, usually by being baked rather than fried, or using fresher and lower-fat ingredients.