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WHO WE ARE
Led by Dan Giusti, the former Head Chef of Noma in Copenhagen, Brigaid is a group of chefs rethinking what it means to feed people. We recruit professionally trained chefs to lead school kitchens full-time with the goal of cooking delicious food from scratch. These meals simultaneously meet the strict budgetary and nutritional guidelines set by the National School Lunch Program and our own quality standards.
Brigaid’s model is fueled by the belief that students deserve real, wholesome food, cooked with care and passion by chefs whose dedication is all encompassing. But the chef’s role goes beyond simply preparing school meals. Brigaid chefs are motivated to develop meaningful relationships with teachers, administrators, and the community to change the way people think about food and the act of eating.
WHAT WE DO
Since 2016, Brigaid has operated in the six public schools of New London, Connecticut, serving scratch-made breakfasts, lunches, and suppers to almost 4,000 students every day. As of 2018, Brigaid has also partnered with New York City Public Schools to begin service in six schools in the Bronx.
Because National School Lunch Program reimbursement rates are so low relative to food and labor costs, Brigaid is only able to budget $1.25 for each school lunch. Developing delicious, wholesome recipes that meet this tight $1.25 budgetary constraint is supremely difficult and time consuming- there’s a reason most school foodservice operations across the country rely on processed, prepackaged foods. While not impossible, balancing costs when developing nutritious, flavorful meals requires constant recipe testing as well as feedback from our customers, the students. We aim to increase meal variety and provide universal access to fresh, nutrient-dense foods, that will overtime alter the eating habits of students who spend a total of thirteen years in the public schools Brigaid serves.