What’s Working: Creativity Kitchen

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Mondays just took a delicious turn for middle school students in Jackson Public Schools.

A partnership with JPS alum and celebrity chef Nick Wallace and the Mississippi Museum of Art has started bearing fruit and a whole lot more.

With the start of the month, Monday’s became a little more appetizing for students and staff at Blackburn Laboratory Middle School.

Former JPS Scholar turned Celebrity Chef Nick Wallace spent his youth in the garden.

Now, he’s sharing his knowledge with the next generation.

Chef Wallace says, “A lot of the students now say, ‘You know what? I think I want to be a chef.’ It looks to be very cool.”

Mary Hill is the Executive Director of Food Services for JPS. She says, ” They are really excited about some of his menus, matter of fact he’s had some of the students in the kitchen with him as he’s prepared some of the sample menus that we’ve done.”

The goal … creating healthy, delicious meals with a bit of a Mississippi flavor.

In a state where high blood pressure and diabetes are at near epidemic levels, it’s a crucial lesson to learn.

Chef Wallace explains, “We don’t want this just in the school system, we want this to flourish when they go home.”

Veggie flat bread pizza with roasted potatoes aren’t traditional cafeteria fare, but maybe they should be.

JPS Superintendent Dr. Cedrick Gray sums it up this way, “When someone takes the time to give back and make a deposit into the lives of our children, they feel it, and they sense it, and they work hard because they know someone cares and so we are excited about that.”

The Monday menu will rotate each month.

February is a combination of Southern and Italian cuisine.

Family members are also welcome to come to lunch on Mondays. The plan is to incorporate more and more Mississippi grown food into the menu.




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