Michelle Obama joined the folks from Top Chef this morning, as part of her tour celebrating the second anniversary of her "Let's Move!" initiative. The folks from Bravo staged a mock cooking competition in front of scores of crumbsnatchers (who didn't look that fat to me, by the way) from the Nancy Mosely Elementary School, using chefs from previous Top Chef seasons and a table of ingredients that sat under intense video lighting for a half hour. (This wasn't a food safety convention for sure.)
Mrs. Obama knows her way around kids. She entered the room to great fanfare (after two false starts) and bounded around in front of the children like Barney, if Barney wore pencil skirts. While the chefs sauteed lean pork and turkey bacon on induction burners, the First Lady joined children in the bleachers and led them in
ear-piercing squeals cheers.
In the end, there wasn't much of a battle, though. Tom Colicchio began criticizing dishes, using the word "balance" to describe nutritional completeness of a dish, and everything was described as delicious. Still, the event got an auditorium of elementary kids excited about something, even if they often seemed more entertained by the antics of Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboy's.
At the end of the competition, Obama praised her own initiative, noting that since Let's Move's inception more than 2,000 additional schools have been dubbed "healthier," according to guidelines spelled out by the USDA. She did not comment on the response to the program, however, or its impact on obesity rates in American youths. In Los Angeles a school lunch menu overhaul has been rejected by a portion of students, who now squirrel junk food into cafeterias in their backpacks.
DISD schools, however, have charging ahead with the overhaul. The district boasts the most Gold Standard Schools out of any in the country.