Our Lunch Program has New Menu Options!
We welcome two new chefs to Duchesne as we work to increase our lunch offerings.
Students and staff can expect to see a variety of new menu items this year including pasta and meatball red sauce, chicken enchiladas, a taco bar with ground beef, chicken caesar wraps, and more! The salad bar will be available, too. These are the biggest updates to the Duchesne lunch program in many years.
The addition of animal proteins to the lunch menu and current food prices have required a change in lunch pricing. A hot lunch or salad bar option will be $7.00.
The punch card option will be available through the website or by purchase in the lunch line as in previous years. Beginning the second week of school, students will be asked to order lunch for the coming week. This will be done using a web-based survey that will be sent by email to all students and staff. No names will be required and if a student forgets or changes their mind there is no penalty and there will likely be enough lunch prepared. Getting a count ahead of time will help our chefs to order a precise amount of ingredients and prepare meals with more accuracy. Students will learn more about this process at the first all-school homeroom.
Meet our Culinary Team:
Joel Wallace is a classically trained chef who attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR. He has been working in restaurants since 2003. He started out as a busser and expo and worked through the ranks to become the corporate chef of the largest full-service hospitality company in South Dakota. He and his wife relocated to Omaha last fall. Joel is excited to be part of the Duchesne team and can’t wait to start cooking for all the students.
Tyree Todd joins the Duchesne community and brings his passion for cooking with him. What began as a hobby has become a calling and a career! When he is away from the kitchen Mr. Todd enjoys spending time with his six-year-old son Dashiel. He also loves being in nature, taking hikes, and exercising. He is also a film buff. Mr. Todd is excited to be a part of our community and to bring us fabulous lunches. Welcome, Mr. Todd!
As those tasked with providing literal energy for those in the school, we feel both grateful for and inspired by our Catholic faith (in particular Laudato Si) and our Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria (in particular 1.7, 3.1, and 3.4). We seek to respect our community by providing an affordable, nutritious, and tasty lunch. We seek to respect our community by purchasing locally whenever possible and creating personal relationships with those growing our food. We seek to respect the earth by partnering with vendors who’s agricultural practices demonstrate real stewardship. We seek to honor God by pausing to give gratitude for what we have been given and taking great care to reduce our waste where possible. In these, and other, ways we seek to honor the earth as our “common home” and live accordingly.
More practically, we seek to do this in the following ways:
- Nutrition: Nutritionists and scientists often change recommendations, but both seem to converge on one thing: what and how to eat vary over time and from person to person. To that end, we embrace an approach that encourages moderate portions of a wide variety of foods and allows for some choice by the consumer.
- Cost: We understand that food costs can quickly add up. At the same time, healthy, sustainable, and fresh foods cost money. By utilizing in-house resources, creative menu planning, local partnerships, and the generosity of donors, we strive to offer lunch at an affordable price.
- Education: “Give a woman a fish and she will eat for a day. Teach her how to fish and she will eat for a lifetime!” We are committed to not only cooking great food but also inviting and teaching young women to be a part of the process as well. Thus, some components of the lunches are produced in the elective Finding God in All Foods class where students learn and practice the basics of safely cooking tasty and healthy food, by students in our work-study program, or by those who we employ.
- Taste: Taste is, of course, the central element to any food service, and we fully intend to continue offering a selection of tasty offerings.
- Reduction of Waste: Our lunch program utilizes only reusable or compostable materials for service. Additionally, given the size, structure, and scope of the program, menus and service are intentionally designed to reduce overall food waste. Our growing partnership with Lone Tree Foods and other smaller vendors allows us to purchase a large amount of fresh produce locally. An emphasis on seasonal foods reduces our reliance on distant vendors or processed—and thus highly packaged—goods. Finally, increased efforts are being placed on utilizing the produce from our own garden to minimize transportation and packaging.