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At Hubert, we like to say that when it comes to success, people are the main ingredient. People like Chef and Historian Ernest Miller can change expectations from a meal. An everyday school lunch can be transformed into a history lesson if you wind up in the kitchen with Miller. He’s passionate about educating people through food and classes from his business, RLM Provisions LLC as well as through his position as corporate chef for Coast Packing Company.

Miller shared with us his experience creating nutritious and flavorful school lunches that reflect local history. Recently, he helped high school students compete in a Kid Healthy program to create a healthy and appealing school lunch that was recognized by judges in two categories.

Tell us about your role as a chef-mentor for California High School.

Ernest Miller: “I was honored to have the opportunity to mentor young, up-and-coming culinarians at California High School in Whittier, Calif. I was asked to support three seniors as they participated in the “Cooking Up Change” contest for Kid Healthy in Orange County. The contest had the students develop a healthy, tasty school lunch that meets USDA guidelines on a very limited budget ($1.25). I met with the students for two to three hours about once a week as we went through the recipe development process over a period of a couple of months.”

What is the Cooking Up Change contest all about?

EM: “Cooking up Change challenges high school culinary students across the country to create a healthy and delicious school lunch that meets national nutrition standards on a tight budget. Using only ingredients and equipment commonly available for school food service, students create recipes that appeal to their peers and can easily be replicated on a large scale in real school kitchens.

“Ensuring that children get proper nutrition as well as learn to cook healthy meals is one of the most important aspects of education. Without these children will not learn in the classroom as well as they should, and our nation will languish as these students mature but suffer from obesity-related diseases, lack of productivity and poor quality of life. ”

“RLM Provisions LLC is my personal company through which I teach classes and give lectures at museums, libraries, schools and other venues throughout Southern California. I am on the speakers’ bureau for the Culinary Historians of Southern California and a lecturer with the National Food & Beverage Foundation. I also make and sell fermentation kits for creating healthy, delicious pro-biotic foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and traditional kosher dill pickles.”

Read the rest of the interview here