Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Employee Engagement In The White House Kitchen

Sam Kass, a 29 year old University of Chicago alum with a degree in history, is the personal chef of the first family and a White House food initiative coordinator. Not only does he prepare fine meals for the Obama's, but he also advises policymakers on initiatives ranging from the local food movement, to farmers markets to healthy school lunches. This is truly a first for the White House in terms of fully engaging all of the skills of its employees as well as a great example of how we should not allow our job titles or educational background to limit our contribution to our careers or our community. Read more about him here and be sure to checkout the recipe at the end of the article. I shared a while back that as part of a sustainable design course project, I am redesigning (on paper only - for now) an urban high school exterior (my old high school) to create a sense of place as well as to make it more sustainable. One concept that I want to incorporate into the design is the establishment of an urban farm on the campus grounds as well as fruit trees for shading and food. The produce could be used in the school lunches and sold at farmer's markets. How exciting would that be?! Sound crazy? There is actually a high school in urban Philadelphia that is already doing this. Read about Martin Luther King High School to get a feel for the possibilities. Anyway, this is something, based on the article about Mr. Kass and the White House's food initiatives, that I believe could be implemented at schools across the nation. Now that's something we can all sink our teeth into.

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