Founded by former Noma head chef Dan Giusti, Brigaid started challenging the school food status quo by putting professional chefs into public schools to cook real, wholesome food from scratch.
Brigaid launched its first pilot program with the New London Public School district in Connecticut. Brigaid hired and trained the original five school chefs in the district as well as retained and trained the 80 original kitchen staff, all of whom have since worked together every day to execute a fully scratch-cooked menu for the district’s 3,700 students. In the first three years of the pilot program alone, Brigaid school chefs served over 2,000,000 National School Lunch Program-compliant breakfasts, lunches, and suppers. The success of the New London pilot led New York City Public Schools, the nation’s largest public school district, to launch its own Brigaid program in the Bronx in the fall of 2018.
In these schools, we brought to the table many firmly held beliefs about what constitutes good food and what students should eat. We quickly learned that the students and staff in New London and NYC had as much to offer to us as we did them. The concept of collective effort has resonated and set the stage for the way Brigaid hopes to engage with food service programs around the country in the future. By supporting the institutional knowledge of those in the field each day with our culinary expertise, together we aim to dramatically shift the landscape of school food nationwide.