At every BASIS International Schools campus, we strive to provide the highest quality meals, both in taste and nutrition possible. Our students and faculty enjoy a wide variety of foods, both Asian and Western, as well as desserts and snacks. The Executive Chef at BASIS International School Nanjing recently provided an inside look at a typical day, and what goes into creating the delicious creations our school communities enjoy.
The following is from BASIS International School Nanjing Chef Mr. Feng. Mr. Feng, the Executive Chef at BASIS International School Nanjing, has nearly 20 years of experience in the catering industry, under the tutelage of Chef Zheng Xiusheng, who was the commander-in-chief of the kitchen department of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is skilled in making Cantonese, Huaiyang, and Chinese Traditional Palace Cuisine. Mr. Feng has served as the Chef of the Beijing Hotel, Sheraton Hotel, and Crowne Plaza Golf Hotel.
Every morning when the students are still dreaming, I begin the day’s work. First, I gather and inspect the food needed for the day’s meals to ensure only the freshest and finest ingredients are used. The school cafeteria uses fresh vegetables purchased every morning. Do not underestimate the value of proper vegetable collection. Additionally, the careful inspection of the Customs Inspection Report, Distribution Certificate, Pesticide Residue Inspection Report, and vegetable quality control is an important part of this process.
For imported meat, seafood, or other ingredients that need to be frozen, it is important to freeze or treat promptly. Finally, materials need to be received into the inventory.
When I return to the kitchen after finishing the food collection, the other chefs in the operation room have finished the self-examination of each team member, and started cooking delicious food. Pots and pans play a wonderful “symphony.” All of this is just for our students and teachers so they can enjoy a nutritious and delicious breakfast. No detail can be ignored, including after breakfast clean-up, disinfection work, and daily meetings. These are all linked together.
After a short break, we are ready for the school’s lunchtime. In order to reward the children for a whole day of learning (and teachers for a day of teaching!), we carefully prepare delicious and nutritious meals, such as fresh seasonal vegetables which provide rich dietary fiber; fish, shrimp, meat, eggs which supply the students with high-quality protein; fruit salad which offers the needed daily vitamins; delicious simmered soup nourishes our body and mind…
Some of our students’ favorite things to eat include noodles, dumplings, and wontons. We strictly control the temperature of the noodles used in soup to be under 50 degrees C. The teachers on duty also monitor students carefully and remind them to line up in orderly fashion.
To ensure the safety of the dining environment, we have installed ultraviolet disinfection lamps all over the cafeteria and carry out sterilization and disinfection work throughout each day, providing a safe environment for all the teachers and students. In the dishwashing room, we follow strict cleaning and sanitation principles, to ensure tableware is clean!
Look at this cute little refrigerator. There is no ice cream, but it is a secret weapon to protect students’ food. Food samples are also kept for at least 48 hours.
In addition to overseeing the preparation of each meal, I also follow up with the distribution of dishes to ensure that the students are fully fed! To make sure that all teachers and students can enjoy the delicious food, we strictly control how frequently each dish is served!
For our students and teachers who are vegetarian or have food allergies, our chefs are careful and considerate of their special dietary needs. We clearly mark allergen information on the menu and set up a special vegetarian window.
What makes me and the other chefs proud is that, with our efforts, the canteen of BASIS International School Nanjing has been awarded an excellent grade by the Food and Drug Administration of Nanjing in the first year of school! This is a great encouragement to all of the restaurant staff!
We hope that our elaborately cooked food not only warms the stomach, but also comforts the hearts of all in our school community!
– Chef Feng
We appreciate and recognize the dedication of our chefs and kitchen staff in providing our school community with delicious and nutritious meals that have been a great encouragement to our teachers and students during these unusual times!