Many parents want to know about the people behind Smart Lunches. Specifically, the chefs and caterers who get up early every morning to make lunches. Where are they from? What kind of food do they like? So we thought we’d go directly to the source and ask our catering partners about themselves.
One of our Boston catering partners, Crop Circle Kitchen, serves over twenty of our partners during the school year. We spoke to Brad Stevens, Executive Chef at Crop Circle Kitchen, to find out a little bit more about his kitchen. This interview has been edited slightly.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about your background?
I was a Corporate Chef for Todd English during the 90’s. I built Figs Restaurants and worked on the opening of number restaurants worldwide. Then I shifted to non-profit work for two years at The Food Project, and then 6 years at Community Servings feeding the homebound critically ill.
2. Is the food you create influenced by anything in particular?
An inherent desire to make food taste good. My love is the entire Mediterranean style of food, simple food made really well. It’s part of the nature of that cuisine because they cook with what is right there for them. They had to cook that way but it really isn’t that hard to translate it to American diets.
3. What is your favorite thing about cooking?
Smiles when you have done it right!
4. What made you decide to partner with Smart Lunches?
Part of what I did at Community Servings was to develop school lunch programs as an outreach of our “food is medicine” campaign. On top of feeding an average of 750 clients a day, we also did about 300-500 hot school lunches.
5. What would you say is one of the most underrated herbs or spices?
Paprika… particularly smoked paprika if used right.
6. What is your favorite New England dish?
Lobster in Vinalhaven ME, otherwise Maine blueberries when in season.
7. If you could add one item to the Smart Lunches menu, what would it be?
Fish! I’d love to add a really great fish patty or fish sticks…(Good idea, Brad! We’ve added it to our calendar during Menu Week, May 18-22)