Chef Ann Cooper, a.k.a. The Renegade Lunch Lady, will lead a discussion about reforming school lunches, 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Belcourt Theatre. The free event, sponsored by Whole Foods, will address the topic of making healthy school lunch available to all students. Participation is limited to 150. To attend, RVSP by Sept. 8 to michael.r.martin (at) wholefoods (dot) com.
The director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, Chef Ann seeks to improve student health by building lunch menus that emphasize regional, organic and fresh foods, as well as nutritional education.
Cooper is the former executive chef of the Putney Inn in Vermont and past president of The American Culinary Federation of Central Vermont. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and former president and current board member for Women's Chefs and Restaurateurs. She has sat on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Standards Board and Chefs Collaborative.
As a consultant to school administrators, Cooper works with educators to implement lunch curriculums that promote nutrition and food education. She has collaborated with the Center for Ecoliteracy, Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Food and Society Policy Fellowship.
Chef Ann is the author of In Mother's Kitchen: Celebrated Women Chefs Share Beloved Family Recipes (2005); Bitter Harvest: A Chef's Perspective on the Hidden Dangers in the Foods We Eat and What You Can do About It (2000); and A Woman's Place is in the Kitchen: The Evolution of Women Chefs (1998).