Eat Right Now
In the fall of 2002, Calhoun hired Chef Bobo from the French Culinary Institute to revamp the school’s lunch program. The goal? To offer students, faculty and staff a nutritious alternative to the institutional food traditionally offered.
Since then, Calhoun's holistic approach to healthy eating has earned the school its position as a leader and pioneer in the nutrition wars. With Chef Bobo at the helm, Calhoun’s “Eat Right Now” Lunch Program is aimed at providing students with healthier meals while building a deep understanding of the importance of a well-balanced diet.
Chef Bobo’s program fosters numerous opportunities for Calhoun students to learn about food and its relation to their physical and mental well-being. The Chef frequently goes into classrooms, offering cooking demonstrations that focus on health, science-oriented lessons about herbs and chemistry, and social studies and linguistic lessons that expose children to diversity in cultures and foods. There are also a number of after-school cooking classes for students, at every age level, that reinforce the importance of high quality ingredients, recipe variety and well-seasoned food. Ultimately, the integration of the food program into the life of the school creates an environment that promotes healthier attitudes about food and eating behaviors.
Eat Right Now Program Moves Beyond Calhoun’s Walls
Since its inception, Calhoun's Eat Right Now program has proven itself to be a successful role model for healthy lunches. The breadth and reach of the program has expanded with an aggressive outreach for public and corporate support that allows Calhoun to benefit a broader audience of institutions, raising awareness and providing education with a hands-on initiative to improve food service for children. Chef Bobo is a frequent speaker at conferences on school lunches and healthy eating. Chefs and representatives from around the country are frequent interns in Chef Bobo's kitchen. And at least five of our sous chefs have gone on to begin similar lunch programs at other schools, including the Family Life Academy (FLAC)—a public charter school here in the Bronx.
Calhoun’s Lunch Program is the Talk of the Town!
Clearly, what began as an "experiment" has been a resounding success. With it, Calhoun's program has received national attention, with articles in Fortune Magazine ("We've Got to Stop Eating Like This," 1/21/03) and The New Yorker's Talk of the Town column, “Lunch Period; Nothing but the Best" (1/20/03). The program has also been touted on NPR's "All Things Considered," The Chicago Tribune, Canada's National Post, the Los Angeles Times, "ABC's World News Tonight." Japan's Fuji TV Network (June 2005), and Nick Jr. Magazine (September 2005).
Calhoun’s Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program
Inspired by Calhoun's Eat Right Now program, the school's CSA was started in the fall of 2009 by the Parents Association as an experiment in community supported agriculture. More than 60 parents and staff paid for a share in the limited "membership," entitling them to pick up at school bags of fresh, locally grown produce every week for 12-14 weeks. The first two seasons were a huge success! Today, the program has expanded to 75 memberships, extended to families, staff, alumnae/i and former parents. Read more »
Chef Bobo's Good Food Cookbook
Published in 2004 by Meredith Publishing, Chef Bobo's Good Food Cookbook was a finalist in the 2005 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards. The book includes 150 healthy recipes tested in Calhoun's kitchen, illustrated with pictures of students and scenes from the school. Find some sample recipes.
Top Green School
In August 2005, Calhoun was recognized as one of the top "Green Schools" in the country by The Green Guide, in no small part due to the school's "Eat Right Now" lunch program and the commitment to serving fresh, local produce, and teaching the value of healthy eating.
In 2008, Calhoun was unanimously named the top "Private School Crusader Award" by Kiwi magazine, for having the healthiest school lunch program of any independent school in the nation.