Oct. 6, 2015— Chef Mario Perez has won the national 2015 Be-A-Star Award as Chartwells Culinary Leader of the Year.
Chartwells is the food service provider for all Comal ISD campuses.
As a result, Perez will be honored at Chartwells annual Compass Night of the Stars event in Orlando on October 22.
Campus faculty members and students alike have seen Perez’s dedication to his job up close and personal. He visits all of the district’s 28 campuses multiple times per year to promote healthy cooking and eating using nutritional foods.
A few of the cooking themes Perez has focused on have been – Asian Nation (stir fry with Asian vegetables, chicken and rice), Traveling Grill (grilled hamburgers and veggie burgers), Omelet Bars (cooking breakfast for students and faculty), Simply Good Veggietainment (with a focus on different vegetables every month, such as October’s power greens and spinach), and Villa Milano (pasta with stir fry vegetables and different nutritional sauces).
Perez also does community-based nutrition education for parents of Comal ISD students.
“I had a parent come up and tell me recently they were so surprised their child was eating spinach and that they loved it,” Perez said. “That’s the thing I really love is there are so many different ways to teach that cooking and eating healthy food is fun.”
Crystal Byrom, Comal ISD’s director of child nutrition, said she was certainly proud Perez has been placed in the national spotlight due to his success in the district.
“Chef Mario loves what he does and it shows up in his work,” Byrom said. “You can feel the passion he has when he’s on a campus. He comes up with so many different and creative ways to promote eating healthy meals and snacks. We are definitely very proud of him.”
Kinder Ranch Elementary principal Dr. Judy Murray agreed.
“Chef Mario has helped our campus in so many ways,” Murray said. “His lessons on nutrition have been invaluable. For our students to see a professional chef in that capacity is a great thing. Any award he gets is well deserved.”
From: Radio New Braunfels