It’s not every day that Tucumcari High School students get parmesan chicken wraps for lunch, but it’s also not every day the school gets a visit from a real chef.
Rene Ruiz, a chef for Summit Food Service Management, Inc., which operates Tucumcari school cafeterias, presided over preparation of the lunch Wednesday as Tucumcari High School FCCLA students did most of the actual work.
Tucumcari High School is just one stop on Summit Food Service’s “Chef on Demand” program, according to Joyce Garrett, the school’s FCCLA instructor.
The work for early students was mostly sauteeing diced chicken in butter and olive oil, loading it into a serving pan, and slicing vegetables.
Ruiz supervised the process and explained ingredients, cooking methods and nutrition as students stirred, sliced and poured their contributions to the meal.
The parmesan chicken wraps’ main ingredient was the chicken to which Ruiz added parmesan cheese and parsley, but the dish is not complete without vegetables.
Students in later periods sliced lettuce, tomato, bell pepper and cucumbers to complete the chicken-wrap package.
Other students whipped up a honey, yogurt and cinnamon dipping sauce for fresh fruits, which were also on the menu, and others made a green chili sauce.
The idea, Ruiz said, “is to get them to eat healthy food.”
While the main course was important, he said, the rest of the menu, salad, fresh fruit, milk and juice, also were designed to promote healthy eating.
“We also try to keep it interesting,” Ruiz said.