Celebrity chefs visit Lowcountry high school

Updated: Oct. 9, 2019 at 4:02 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Students at West Ashley High School got quite the surprise Wednesday at lunch.

The “Kitchen Collaborative” event brought together accomplished chefs from across the country with the Charleston County School District nutrition services staff, students and Schwan’s Chef Collective team members.

The team of chefs included Food Network chefs, Jet Tila and Todd Erickson, Top Chef Season 15 runner-up Adrienne Cheatham and newest Chef Collective member, Uno Immanivong.

On Wednesday morning, the chefs met with students to talk about what they like in their lunches and things they’d like to change.

“The culinary students and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Schwan’s Chef Collective," West Ashley High Culinary Arts teacher, Jason Wheless, said . “It’s truly amazing to witness the marketing and culinary teams joining forces to increase student engagement in the cafeteria.”

On Thursday, the chefs will work with students to create new recipes for lunch. Erickson said he enjoys getting to know the students and their eating habits.

“Really getting to know them, what they love to eat, where they’re eating off-campus and how we can bring some of that to them because childhood nutrition is so important,” Erickson said.

The chefs also got the chance to speak about their culinary journey.

“The culinary students had great, deep questions about how we developed our professional careers,” Erickson said. "Hopefully we gave them some inspiration to pursue their culinary dreams.”

On Friday, the chefs will serve the students the new recipes so they can taste test the creations. The goal is to roll out some of the recipes to other schools in the school district.

West Ashley High School was chosen because it gives out more meals than any other school in the district.

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