Schwan's Chef Collective Announces K-12 Kitchen Collaborative in Partnership with Charleston County School District in South Carolina

Renowned chefs to work with students and staff to bring creativity, diversity and fresh new menu items to lunch lines nationwide

Schwan's Chef Collective member Todd Erickson lines up for lunch with students at the 2018 Kitchen Collaborative in Houston. (Photo courtesy of Schwan's Company)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.--()--Schwan’s Chef Collective™ is partnering with Charleston County School District Oct. 8-11 for a Kitchen Collaborative at West Ashley High School. This culinary event brings accomplished chefs from across the country together with district food service personnel, students and Schwan’s Food Service team members to create delicious, nutritious school lunch recipes.

Schwan’s Chef Collective members joining the Charleston culinary team include Food Network celebrity chefs Jet Tila and Todd Erickson, Top Chef Season 15 runner-up chef Adrienne Cheatham, and Houston-based restaurateur chef Uno Immanivong. This curated group of accomplished and up-and-coming chefs from across the country will work side by side with high school students, staff and Schwan’s Company internal team to create new recipes that can be easily executed in K-12 schools nationwide.

The goal is to create delicious, nutritious and innovative new menu items that are easy to make, meet nutritional guidelines, can be made with ingredients already found in school pantries and, most importantly, entice students to line up for “hot lunch” every day.

“We’re thrilled to be in Charleston for our fourth K-12 Kitchen Collaborative,” said Polly Madsen, manager of culinary initiatives for Schwan’s Company. “Enlisting students to share their personal tastes and ideas is critical to creating successful recipes for K-12 food service. We’ve developed more than a dozen new recipes through these collaborations to date, and it is exciting to create new and on-trend recipes each year.”

The four-day Kitchen Collaborative will begin with a kid food favorites” taste tour where the team will be visiting local places where kids love to eat, providing inspiration for the week. Day two will feature a classroom-style Q&A session with the chefs, culinary arts and marketing students, and the Charleston County School District food service team to gain insights on the current trends and flavors students are craving. Day three will be focused on recipe creation. Schwan’s Company foods will serve as the base for these innovative creations, including Big Daddy’s™ Primo Scratch Ready Pizza and MINH® Asian-style foods such as egg rolls, sauces and whole grain fried rice. On the last day, Schwan’s Chef Collective members will serve the new recipes to students for their feedback in a taste test.

“The culinary students and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Schwan's Chef Collective," said Jason Wheless, West Ashley High Culinary Arts teacher. “It’s truly amazing to witness the marketing and culinary teams joining forces to increase student engagement in the cafeteria.”

Schwan’s Food Service Inc., a subsidiary of Schwan’s Company, is a leading food provider in K-12 schools and has been committed to helping school food-service professionals with delicious menu options for more than 40 years. Since 2016, Schwan’s has inspired culinary creativity in the K-12 space through Kitchen Collaborative events led by Schwan’s Chef Collective. Previous events were held in Wayzata, Minnesota (2016); Albuquerque, New Mexico (2017); and Houston, Texas (2018).

For more information on Schwan’s Chef Collective, visit

About Schwan’s Company
Based in Minnesota, Schwan’s Company is a leading U.S. manufacturer and marketer of quality foods offered through retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®, Big Daddy’s®, Villa Prima™ and Freschetta® pizza; Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts; and Pagoda® Asian-style snacks. To learn more about Schwan’s, visit

About Charleston County School District
Charleston County School District (CCSD) is the second-largest school system in South Carolina, representing a unique blend of urban, suburban and rural schools spanning 1,300 square miles along the coast. CCSD serves more than 50,000 students in 87 schools and specialized programs. With approximately 6,100 employees district-wide, CCSD is the fourth-largest employer in the region.

CCSD offers a diverse, expanding portfolio of options and specialized programs, delivered through neighborhood, charter, magnet, IB (international baccalaureate) and Montessori schools, and is divided into three Learning Communities. Options include specialized programs in science, engineering and mathematics; liberal arts; music and other creative and performing arts; career and technical preparation programs; and military and other public service enterprises.


Deanna Deakin
The Revelry Group

Release Summary

Schwan’s Chef Collective is partnering with Charleston County School District Oct. 8-11 for a Kitchen Collaborative at West Ashley High School.


Deanna Deakin
The Revelry Group