New York Daily News
March 25, 2005
A newly renovated school cafeteria - Bam!
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse stopped in at a Harlem school yesterday to tell pizza-eating students he is going to soup up their cafeteria as part of a cable television contest.
“Not only did you win, you won me, too,” Lagasse told kids at the Children’s Storefront School on E.129th St.
“We aren’t just going to kick it up, we are going to kick it up a big notch,” Lagasse vowed.
The independent, tuition-free school entered the Food Network’s “All-Star Kitchen Makeover” contest, in which celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay and Lagasse, overhaul old kitchens. The Children’s Storefront is the first school to win.
“This is the greatest moment of my life,” said fourth-grader Olivia Thompson, a star-struck 9-year-old.
Over the next month, Lagasse and his helpers will install a new oven and refrigerator and bring in fans and warming ovens, school officials said. The renovated kitchen should be completed by April 22.
“Our kitchen is pretty old and run-down,” said Kathy Egmont, head of Children’s Storefront, where 170 students are enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grade. “We will be able to cook more food more quickly and have a better variety of lunches,” she said.
The school is housed in what used to be a single-family home and has been dishing out lunch from a basement cafeteria for 39 years.
Students seemed to care little yesterday about the type of food the new cafeteria would serve. Many just wanted to know what color the walls would be painted.
“I think they should paint it red - Bam! - and blue,” Olivia said.