Chef Doug Robson with the Schooled Lunch Challenge

In October, Uptown welcomed Chef Doug Robson of Otro Cafe and Gallo Blanco Cafe y Bar, for Part II of the Schooled Lunch Challenge (click here to see the recap of Part I with Chef Justin Beckett!). In partnership with Slow Food Phoenix, the Schooled Lunch Challenge at Uptown kicked off a larger series of events happening throughout the month of October as a part of Slow Food in Schools (Slow Food Phoenix) effort to raise awareness about the current state of food served in schools.

Armed with the budget of the current National School Lunch Program at $3.50 per student and the day’s market selections, Chef Doug Robson was tasked with creating a family-friendly and wholesome dish that kids were sure to dig!

The students of Careers in Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP Arizona) also joined forces for this mini-series of demonstrations to help Chef Robson slice, dice, and assemble.

Arriving ready for the challenge, Chef Robson quickly got down to business, working alongside the students of C-CAP to slice carrots, cucumber and jicama to be plated with a hearty portion of Chef’s signature guacamole (that can be found weekly at his two valley eateries!) and a tortilla chip for dipping. This main course offered a bite of many flavors, and stayed true to Chef’s deep roots and passion with Mexican cuisine.

The team then moved on to creating a vibrant fruit salad with berries, apples, grapes, and pineapple. For a sweet treat (have to appeal to those kiddos!) Chef topped each fruit salad cup with a small dollop of freshly whipped cream from Superstition Farm!

Chef plated his Guacamole Main Course, paired with the fruit cups with cream on a red school lunch tray — for a balanced and appetizing offering for the kiddos. It was a hit with all the children at the Demonstration Booth (and the parents too!). Uptown and Slow Food Phoenix gives our nods to both chefs, for creating healthy, unique trays and the true win: educating Uptown-goers about advocating for a #BetterTrayEveryday at their kid’s local schools.

Uptown would like to extend a special thank you to Chef Doug Robson and Slow Food Phoenix for joining us at Uptown Saturday and striving to create a #BetterTrayEveryday! We also want to thank Uptown vendors for contributing to the demonstration and sampling. Follow Slow Food Phoenix’s movement on social media here and visit Chef Robson at his local restaurants: Otro Cafe and Gallo Blanco Cafe y Bar.

Get the lowdown on Uptown by subscribing to our weekly e-mail newsletter and following us on social media (find us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter) at @uptownmarketaz.