With everyone pointing the finger at GRPS and judging them, I decided to give the finger to myself!! So I asked David Allen to introduce me to his friends at GRPS. I really believe that I could be a part of a solution, not the problem and I wanted them to know I was in their corner. I have to tell you I was a bit intimidated by the whole thing. Were the powers at be going to recognize my sincerity behind Kitchen Sage, or look at my ideas as a completely ridiculous chef with crazy hopes of Home Economics returning to our culture? Worst yet, would they think that I was stepping on their toes or just being another judgmental idiot. I really needed the KITCHEN SAGErs, Jan and David to be with me in this meeting, so as to translate my intent. So in the middle of all the JuiceBall fun, we get an appointment with Ron Gormin, John Helmholt, and Paul Baumgartner.
Man was I overwhelmed with the response! Not only did they like the idea, but they wanted to figure out how they could be a part of it! So we figured this relationship could start off with Tommy sitting down with Paul Baumgartner, the MAN that heads up GRPS nutrition center. First thing, lets get Tommy over to the GRPS Nutrition Center ASAP to see what Paul does for a living. This made perfect sense and I have to tell you that it was absolutely inspiring what was going on there!
Remember when you were a kid and mom was infamous with the way she snuck veggies into your food? Well everyone, here is Paul Baumgartner! Not only does he utilize some of the best systems in PREPARING food for OUR children, he is inventing those systems along the way. All the while using fresh ingredients and emphasizing local products as well. For the love of God, he is sneaking broccoli into the Mac and Cheese! He is utilizing MICHIGAN beans into our kids’ diets because they are not only local, cost effective, but they also pack a nutritional punch. The first day I met Paul, he was figuring out how he could rinse off the beans in the soup kettle for ease and efficiency. I would love Jamie Oliver to see his operation, he would cry like a baby(for a good reason!). If anyone knows Jamie, give him a shout out he would appreciate all the good stuff here in GR!
Paul and I had so much in common and he has such a wealth of knowledge, all for the asking! I love the fact that he doesn’t mince words! My vision was all about accountability, a sense of urgency, and participation. Paul is making me own it! His mentorship has propelled my vision so fast and far, sometimes I need to catch my breath. From the actual curriculum, to understanding my audience, Paul is waking that love of education that has been so dormant in me for so long. There is so much more to write about Paul, but we are in the throws of designing and negotiating for our new space! In the mean time, Paul and GRPS Nutrition Center is the the official temporary Kitchen for Kitchen Sage!
Why wait for the bricks a mortar? Why can’t we start educating our kids immediately? How about July 8th, 2013?….That just happened!
Thank you GRPS for Paul Baumgartner! You are definitely my FIRST choice!!