Chef Mike Smith of Chartwells Thompson Hospitality has full attention of students as he discusses healthy eating with students at Brunson Elementary.

Courtesy Dori Wilson

As part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, which provides meal service to 475 Chicago Public Schools, has recruited more than 20 celebrity chefs from Chartwells Higher Education to visit a number of Chicago Public Schools to engage students in healthy eating as part the
“Chefs Move to Schools” Chicago program.

Chef Michael Smith, is a Senior Executive Chef with Chartwells Higher Education at DePaul University, and is a committed advocate of child nutrition and healthy dining in the schools. He was selected to be among a handful of the nation’s most accomplished chefs to go to the White House for the kick-off of the First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign. Chef Smith recently visited Chicago Public Schools as part of the “Chefs Move to Schools” program and found that local students are very interested in a program that is directed at them: “They know the First Lady is interested in them and their health. They were anxious to learn and try new foods.”

Chef Smith comments on his “Chefs Move to Schools” visit to Brunson Elementary: “The students at Brunson were great … I met with every class and found that students were very aware of food being healthy or unhealthy. They were fascinated with carrots and where they come from … they wanted to know about salads and how to make them. I explained there is no magic formula to make food … you can be a chef too! To make a salad, just put in the 5 things you like to eat … and you have a great salad!”

For the “Chefs Move to Schools” program, Chartwells-Thompson chefs visited diverse grouping of Chicago Public Schools, including Senn, Amundsen, Prosser, Washington, Taft, Forman, Marsh, Murray, Little Village, Instituto and Jahn. Chartwells-Thompson is a division of the Compass Group.