Chef Justin Beckett with the Schooled Lunch Challenge

In October, Uptown welcomed Chef Justin Beckett
 of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail, for Part I of the Schooled Lunch Challenge! 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 Justin Beckett 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 on this Saturday to help Chef Beckett slice, dice, and assemble.

Chef Beckett arrived ready to compete (Chef Robson of Otro
 Cafe and Gallo Blanco Cafe y Bar—was also present to cheer on his local chef pal!). Chef wasted none of his allotted time, and got to work creating a beautiful fruit salad, combined with local McClendon’s Select honey for an added sweetness kids love. 

Meanwhile, the students of C-CAP sliced fresh, raw vegetables for the main course of his featured lunch. Chef Beckett then plated the raw veggies atop hummus, added a slice of lightly seasoned chicken breast and finished the main course with a drizzle of olive oil.

On a blue school lunch tray Chef Beckett plated his sliced chicken breast, raw vegetables and hummus main course with his sweet fruit salad topped with basil, a cheese stick and local milk — for a complete and balanced offering for the kiddos. The verdict? The kids of Uptown loved his offering!

Uptown would like to extend a special thank you to Chef Justin Beckett and Slow Food Phoenix for joining us at Uptown Saturday and striving to create a #BetterTrayEveryday! We also want to thank all the vendors who contributed to this demonstration and sampling. Follow Slow Food Phoenix’s movement on social media here and visit Chef Beckett at his valley eateries: Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail.

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