Oliva Perez held a small plastic cup up to her mouth and took a swig of the pink juice inside. With a grin on her face, the fifth grader then held one thumb up in the air.
“I love it,” said Oliva, who tried the fruit and yogurt smoothies offered to students during lunch at the William H. Barton Intermediate School Thursday, Oct. 5.
Lunchroom tastings are back, and no one is happier about it than Chef Steve Sutliff, who cut up a peach and threw it into a stainless steel blender with some strawberries, pineapple, yogurt and apple juice.
This is Chef Steve’s fifth year working at Queensbury UFSD, but he hasn’t held a tasting since before the pandemic.
“They’re very good samplers here at the WHBI,” said Chef Steve, who also blended carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes to make a veggie smoothie, which he said tastes like low-sodium V8.
Themed tastings allow the chef to interact with the students and offer students a chance to try a food item that isn’t always offered at the school — like hummus, a protein-packed dip for vegetables.
“Anything to get the kids to try new food or healthier foods,” said Josh Hodge, the director of food services, as he poured the smoothies into cups.
Next week, Queensbury Elementary School students will get to sample Chef Steve’s homemade meatballs.