Scroll to:
Scroll to:

Founder Chef Ann

Chef Ann Cooper is an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. In a nation where kids are born with shorter estimated life expectancies than their parents due to diet-related disease, Chef Ann has been a constant champion of school food reform as an important avenue through which to improve childhood nutrition.

Founder Chef Ann

Chef Ann Cooper is an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. In a nation where kids are born with shorter estimated life expectancies than their parents due to diet-related disease, Chef Ann has been a constant champion of school food reform as an important avenue through which to improve childhood nutrition.

About Chef Ann Cooper

In 2009, Chef Ann founded the Chef Ann Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping schools take action so that every child has daily access to fresh, healthy food.

Also known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady,“ Chef Ann serves as Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District in Boulder, Colorado, and is Partner of Lunch Lessons, LLC, a consultancy for school districts going through large-scale food change. Ann attends many national conferences and performs regular Speaking Engagements. Visit our Resource Library to view some of Ann’s notable lectures, including several TED Talks.

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Ann has over 45 years of experience as a cook and chef, including 20 years in school food programs. Her books Bitter Harvest and Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children have made her a leading advocate for safe, sustainable food.

Advisory Positions

To raise further awareness about the value of healthy food systems, Chef Ann has held several executive and advisory positions:

Chef Ann has also been honored by the National Resources Defense Council, awarded an honorary doctorate from SUNY Cobleskill for her work on sustainable agriculture, and received IACP’s 2012 Humanitarian of the Year award. Named one of the “Influential 20” by Food Service Director Magazine and one of the top 15 Crusaders for Health in the Food Industry by Greatist.com, Ann has also received the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Community Service Award and a Special Inspirational Award from the Susan B. Komen Foundation. In 2016, she was named “One of the Top 50 Food Activists” by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. In 2019, Ann was named an “American Food Hero” by EatingWell.


Resources

Presentation

Click here for Chef Ann’s main PowerPoint presentation file.

Resources

Presentation

Click here for Chef Ann’s main PowerPoint presentation file.

Photos

Speaking Engagements

Although she is busy as the founder of the Chef Ann Foundation, working as Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District, and consulting for other school districts, Chef Ann makes it a priority to share her experiences and insights through speaking engagements. Connecting with audiences as close to home as TEDxBoulder and as far away as Qatar and Taipei, Ann has inspired people throughout the world to change the way we feed our children. A sampling of her past lectures is available in our Resource Library. If you’d like to engage Chef Ann for a speaking event, please contact us.

Speaking Engagements

Although she is busy as the founder of the Chef Ann Foundation, working as Director of Food Services for Boulder Valley School District, and consulting for other school districts, Chef Ann makes it a priority to share her experiences and insights through speaking engagements. Connecting with audiences as close to home as TEDxBoulder and as far away as Qatar and Taipei, Ann has inspired people throughout the world to change the way we feed our children. A sampling of her past lectures is available in our Resource Library. If you’d like to engage Chef Ann for a speaking event, please contact us.

Consulting

School districts across the country are working towards healthier school food, and consultants can provide customized, hands-on support for districts of all sizes.

Lunch Lessons, LLC, co-owned by Chef Ann Cooper and her business partner, Chef Beth Collins, provides expertise and knowledge to school districts across the nation that are transitioning from “heat and serve” foods to scratch cooking.

Consulting

School districts across the country are working towards healthier school food, and consultants can provide customized, hands-on support for districts of all sizes.

Lunch Lessons, LLC, co-owned by Chef Ann Cooper and her business partner, Chef Beth Collins, provides expertise and knowledge to school districts across the nation that are transitioning from “heat and serve” foods to scratch cooking.

Lunch Lessons offers a variety of services to assist school districts and their community partners in realizing their vision for school food service, including:

  • Educational programming through speaking engagements.
  • Workshops that address a variety of needs from fiscal to culinary training.
  • Focused analysis of various aspects of existing programs.
  • Full assessments that analyze all aspects of the food service department and provide recommendations to assist in strategic planning and goal setting.

Chefs Cooper and Collins have worked together for more than 18 years and are experienced in both public and private sector food systems, district administration, culinary training, fiscal services, food service facilities and operations, and strategic planning. Both chefs have hands-on experience in district-wide food services transition, including the challenges of large-scale system change. Their experience and understanding provide a realistic view of complex school district relationships and determine what goals and results are most realistic and cost-effective given the distinct conditions of each district.

Books




Recommended Next Topic: Our Team

The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) is a registered, tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, governed by a dedicated board of directors who share our mission. Meet them and our dedicated staff who manage day-to-day operations.

Recommended Next Topic: Our Team

The Chef Ann Foundation (CAF) is a registered, tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, governed by a dedicated board of directors who share our mission. Meet them and our dedicated staff who manage day-to-day operations.

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?

Sign Up for our Newsletter

Thank you for signing up for our newsletter!

There was an error, please try again.