Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School, 36 Waller Street, New London,
WHO WE ARE
Led by Dan Giusti, the former Head Chef of Noma in Copenhagen, Brigaid is a group of chefs rethinking what it means to feed people. We recruit professionally trained chefs to lead school kitchens full-time with the goal of cooking delicious food from scratch. These meals simultaneously meet the strict budgetary and nutritional guidelines set by the National School Lunch Program and our own quality standards.
Brigaid’s model is fueled by the belief that students deserve real, wholesome food, cooked with care and passion by chefs whose dedication is all encompassing. But the chef’s role goes beyond simply preparing school meals. Brigaid chefs are motivated to develop meaningful relationships with teachers, administrators, and the community to change the way people think about food and the act of eating.
WHAT WE DO
Since 2016, Brigaid has operated in the six public schools of New London, Connecticut, serving scratch-made breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to more than 3,900 students every day. As of 2018, Brigaid has also partnered with New York City Public Schools to begin service in six schools in the Bronx.
Because National School Lunch Program reimbursement rates are so low relative to food and labor costs, Brigaid is only able to budget $1.25 for each school lunch. Developing delicious, wholesome recipes that meet this tight $1.25 budgetary constraint is supremely difficult and time consuming- there’s a reason most school foodservice operations across the country rely on processed, prepackaged foods. While not impossible, balancing costs when developing nutritious, flavorful meals requires constant recipe testing as well as feedback from our customers, the students. We aim to increase meal variety and provide universal access to fresh, nutrient-dense foods, that will overtime alter the eating habits of students who spend a total of thirteen years in the public schools Brigaid serves.
SO WE'RE THROWING A FUNDRAISER
100% of the funds raised will go back to Brigaid by way of New London Public Schools, which is not only our pilot site, but it’s still the hub for everything Brigaid. We’ve been able to use New London as the site for development for the past two years, and we want to continue to partner with New London Public Schools for research and development in all things school food. The goal is to develop Brigaid as one of the best school foodservice programs in the United States, period.
We've invited ten world-class chefs from around the country to Brigaid's hub in New London to compete in our first ever $1.25 Throwdown. These chefs will be devising school lunches that fit within both the national school nutrition standards and our $1.25 budget. On June 2, 2018, we'll be holding five "lunch waves" in the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School cafeteria, where our guest chefs will go head to head serving their school lunches to the public. Although they'll be battling it out to create the best meal, as judged by both students and a panel of respected food writers, we're hoping to add all of the meals served to the Brigaid lunch rotation.
Crocker House Ballroom
[35 Union Street, New London, CT]
After the Throwdown, we're hosting an afterparty at the Crocker House Ballroom in New London. Mingle with our guest chefs as you enjoy an open bar with top shelf liquors, hors d’oeuvres, a performance by Willy Mason + The Horse-Eyed Men, a special DJ set, and dancing!
YOUR SUPPORT GOES TO...
- Continued recipe research and development
- The creation of training policies and procedures that will set the standard for school foodservice across the country
- Thoughtfully designing kitchens and cafeterias with scratch food preparation in mind
- Exploring the feasibility of using top quality products in our everyday work