In this week's very important show, we talk to Chef Kent Getzin and Joan Qazi about healthy local, healthy, "from scratch" food in schools, farms, sustainability, climate change, our environment and health.
Chef Kent Getzin
Kent Getzin and his team, during his seventeen years as the food service director for Wenatchee school district, developed a model Farm to School and scratch cooking program that gained national attention. Every menu, and in every school building, locally procured foods were served daily. Kent is excited about the Farm to School movement’s potential to reintroduce kids to real, scratch-cooked, whole foods! He loves teaching school food pros about the benefits of “getting back to basics” with scratch cooking in their own operations, the power of the Farm to School movement and to think “outside of box”; that is, the box of frozen processed foods so prevalent in school food service. Kent is concerned that people have the same involuntary response when they hear the words “school food” as they do when they hear the word “dentist” and that is a shame (no offense to dentists, intended)! Farm to school (local procurement) and scratch cooking go hand in hand and have the power to change all that!
Kent knew what he wanted as a career since he was fifteen years old. For 37 years, twenty of which were spent as a chef in various country clubs and fine dining restaurants, quality food has been his laser focus. Is it the art, the science, the satisfaction of service, the energy and the excitement? The answer is YES! He has always loved to serve. It comes from the heart! He blames it all on his mom…she said she would clean the kitchen if he cooked dinner and that’s how it all started!
In 2013, Kent and his fiancé, CherylAnn Crego started a cooking school, where they value hospitality, generosity and adventure! Cheffyk and CA’s Cooking School started with a simple mission, to create portable cooking classes to help people feel more confident in the kitchen and to become better cooks. Since then, they’ve outfitted their home into a beautiful “studio” space to bring their vision to the Lake Chelan valley. They have recently opened a culinary tourism branch of their school intended to serve visitors coming to the beautiful wine and food mecca that Chelan has become. They also host culinary tours out of the country for those who love food, travel, and adventure.
Kent has five children of his own and together he and CherylAnn have eight! They love music, entertaining, travel and spending time with all those kids! Kent also is an rabid guitar and music theory geek and motorcycle enthusiast.
Joan Qazi, Farm to Schools CoordinatorWenatchee Valley College
Joan Qazi is the Central Washington Coordinator for the Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network’s Farm to School project and an adjunct faculty teaching Geography and Climate Change coursework at Wenatchee Valley College in central Washington. Her doctoral research focused on the Washington State apple industry and post-doc work has highlighted local food systems. Joan is a parent, community food system advocate, and geography instructor who is dedicated to helping kids eat well and understand where their food really comes from. Joan is most interested in exploring the meaning of sustainability both intellectually and empirically, whether through facilitating a College course discussion or through building a school garden and maintaining its institutional support.