Shepherd chef’s lessons will boost school lunch menus
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Thanks to the Cook Smart initiative and lessons from a cooking expert here, children eating in school cafeterias in neighboring Maryland will see a change for the better come fall.
Scott Anderson, associate director for Shepherd University’s dining services, will work with the cafeteria staff in Washington County to introduce students to more fresh foods, less fat and more flavor in their midday meal.
Starting in June, Anderson will begin training school cooks and offering new recipes through Cook Smart, a new initiative undertaken by the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation and the Maryland Department of Education.
Anderson, a member of the local American Culinary Federation, was selected as the chef to work with schools in Washington County, one of four Maryland counties offering Cook Smart.
“It’s a get-back-to-basics program, relying more on scratch cooking, preparing something from a raw or semi-raw state,” Anderson said. “If we can get kids away from processed food when they’re in junior high, high school and college, we can help change their eating habits.”
According to Shepherd University officials, Anderson traces his love of cooking to the early 1980s, when as a junior high student he began to spend time in the kitchen with his grandmother and great grandmother. After finishing high school, Anderson moved to Flanders, N.J., with his family and took a job as a dishwasher at Publick House Restaurant.
There he advanced to sous chef, honing his skills under the Publick House’s chef, Dennis Richmond. He enrolled at County College of Morris, where he completed his associate degree in hotel restaurant management. Later, he pursued bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Northwestern Pennsylvania’s
Edinboro University, studying history and political science.
Then in 1991, Anderson was hired as a part-time catering employee at Shepherd. He worked his way to a position as full-time assistant catering manager and then became catering manager and, since 2002, associate director and chef. These days, Anderson oversees Shepherd’s purchasing, culinary training, menu management and recipe creations.
Anderson also hosts a biweekly cooking program, “Culinary Passion,” on WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, Md. His work with “Cook Smart” and the Maryland school system is set to continue until spring of 2013.