The Daily Feed: Restaurateurs Get Schooled

Seems every day there’s another news story about chefs and restaurateurs who leave stressful, high pressure kitchens to take on the challenges of America’s educational institutions. 

Though she wasn’t the first, Chef Ann Cooper was certainly a pioneer of this trend, having left her executive chef duties at fine dining restaurants to turn around the food service first at the Berkeley Unified School District and then in Boulder, Colorado. She now runs the online hub The Lunchbox.

And Cooper is hardly alone. Just yesterday Jane Black of the Washington Post reported that New York restaurateur Jeff Mills recently took over the food service helm of the Washington, DC public schools. And, of course, there’s Jamie Oliver, who took a West Virginia school district by storm in his much publicized show Jamie's Food Revolution, which debuts this week.

Taking a different tack is world-renowned Catalan chef Ferran Adria, whose Spanish restaurant El Bulli is widely considered one of the best in the world. Last month Adria announced he would close El Bulli in 2011, and earlier this week, the Boston Globe, and other outlets reported the chef has signed on to teach a culinary physics course at Harvard University this coming fall.

It wasn’t so long ago that culinary schools were the only educational institutions where you’d find well-known chefs. Times have certainly changed.


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule.


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