Judge Spotlight: Chef Daniel Giusti

June 01, 2016

Daniel Giusti has been the head chef at world-class restaurants, and he will now turn his attention to school food. Earlier this year, Giusti launched Brigaid, an organization aiming to change the way school food is produced. The company will start a pilot program in New London, Conn., with six chefs. From there, the future is wide open.

But before he and other chefs transform school food in Connecticut, he will join the esteemed judging panel of our Cooking up Change national finals, where he will see student chefs transforming school food before his very eyes. “I am very excited to be a part of this competition which is sure to produce many ideas to help continue the innovation of healthy school meals,” says Giusti.

Giusti understands the importance of having high nutritional standards for school meals. “Healthy school food is critical to the health and well-being of students across the U.S., but it also reinforces positive eating habits for later in life,” he says.

And that’s why it’s so important to both educate students about healthy food and ensure they have a voice in the conversation. “We are obligated as adults to make sure we educate students about the importance of eating a nutritious diet,” Giusti says. “Once students are well aware of the facts, they must also speak up and be advocates of healthy food in schools as it directly affects them.”

As part of the student chefs’ experience in Washington, D.C., they will get to exercise those voices and  meet with their elected officials to talk about their Cooking up Change experience. The Cooking up Change competition not only serves as a way for student chefs to create school meals that appeal to their peers, but it also shows that school meals can be healthy, delicious and meet the strict nutritional and budgetary requirements.

Giusti is excited to see what our talented student chefs have cooked up. “Being a judge in this competition is a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with young chefs and exchange ideas about creating delicious and nutritious meals at a very low price point,” he says.