Farm to Table

The award-winning Farm to Table Lunch program at Prairie Crossing Charter School is an extension of our focus on environmental education. Farm to Table is an innovative approach to teaching students about healthy food and enhancing the school’s sense of community.

PCCS Farm to Table The award-winning Farm to Table Lunch (F2T) program at Prairie Crossing Charter School is an extension of our focus on environmental education. F2T is an innovative approach to teaching students about healthy food and enhancing the school’s sense of community. Our program is directly tied into the PCCS Sustainable Schoolyard and other off-campus field trips to local farms and orchards, where our students directly participate in every stage of sustainable agriculture, from planting to nurturing to harvesting to preparing the food for our sustainable and organic events. In planning the monthly lunch, our professional chef collaborates with an amazing group of parent volunteers to provide hands-on learning experiences for every PCCS student. Our students present details, lessons and facts that they have learned during the preparation and each meal features crops grown in the PCCS Sustainable Schoolyard  or at local farms or orchards, where our students harvest the crops. These local, sustainable crops are paired with other healthy ingredients, most grown locally in the region. PCCS students have the opportunity to experience a freshly prepared and healthy lunch in the warm and inviting setting of the Byron Colby Barn. This meal, accompanied by experiential learning, makes an impact far beyond the lunch table. PCCS students bring home their knowledge and experience of growing and eating new, healthy foods, and can make a significant impact on their own family’s purchasing  and eating behavior. Join us for fresh, healthy, local lunches.

Registration for Farm to Table can be found HERE.




Our Farm to Table Volunteer Crew took over the kitchen in November. Serving some traditional fall comfort foods, they delighted over 300 diners with a lunch of vegetarian chili, cornbread, green salad with maple-cider vinaigrette, and apple-blackberry crisp! Our volunteers are the heart of Farm to Table and we appreciate all of the time they spend, chopping, prepping, planning, cooking, washing and serving. It truly takes a team and we are fortunate to have new people step forward every month. We love seeing new faces and meeting more  volunteers each month! Did you or your child enjoy some of the selections from this month’s lunch? Click HERE for the recipes!



In conjunction with our school-wide green initiative, “Eat Real”, our October Farm to Table will be held on Wednesday, October 24th on National Food Day. We are delighted to have Chef Jean-Marc Loustaunau of Mari’s Bistro serving as our guest chef for this special day. Our menu will include squash soup, chicken fricassee (an original French comfort food), vegetable rotini pasta with harvest vegetables in a creamy bechamel sauce, and creme caramel. Registration for Farm to Table can be found HERE.  The classroom lunch schedule is HERE. See you there!

We kicked off the 2018-2019 Farm to Table season in September with our friends at Taste of Paris Restaurant in Mundelein. Over 300 diners feasted on crepes ratatouille, vegetable soup with fresh chives, a green salad with carrots and mango vinaigrette, and chocolate mousse. Thank you to Chef Claude, his staff, and our Farm to Table crew for making this first lunch of the season one that we will savor in our memories for a long time!




Cafe Pyrenees Wraps Up a Spectacular Farm to Table Season of DiningFarm to Table June 2016 004
Guest Chef Jean Marc Loustaunau from Cafe Pyrenees Restaurant in Libertyville returned in June to finish out our 2015-2016 Farm to Table Season! Cafe Pyrenees provided our first Farm to Table meal in September, kicking off a year of guest chefs from local Lake County restaurants.  Our June lunch offering included marinated, sauteed chicken with asparagus sauce; jasmine rice; mixed spring greens (from our classroom gardens), spinach and radish salad with vinaigrette; and chocolate profiteroles! We want to thank Chef Jean Marc Loustaunau, Mari Loustaunau and the Cafe Pyrenees for finishing our year of Farm to Table with such a flourish.



Fresh Flavors in April with Nomad Food Company, LLC Farm to Table April 2016 025

300 diners feasted on a Farm to Table offering of Early Spring Garden Salad with spinach, shredded cabbage, baby arugula, red & yellow potatoes, fresh mint, hard boiled egg, with a garlic chive and honey vinaigrette; Homemade Spring Vegetable Pot Pie with green asparagus, ramps, mushroom mix, peas, carrots, creamy and cheesy white Bechamel sauce, drop biscuit topping; and Mini Rhubarb and Apple Crumbles, featuring first of the season rhubarb, Granny Smith apples, honey, and salted oat crumble topping. Our heartfelt thanks go out to our Guest Chef Jared Batson, of The Nomad Food Company LLC, who created this culinary delight for our hungry students, staff, and visitors.

Steven’s Delights Diners at Our March Farm to Table

Farm to Table March 2016 004 Comfort food was on the menu today at Farm to Table! Steven’s Restaurant of Gurnee served up a delectable meal of Steven’s Salad, made with Organic Greens, Granny Smith Apples, Blue Cheese, Dry Sherry Vinaigrette; Chicken Marsala served with New Orleans Smashed Potatoes; and White Chocolate Mousse Cake. Thank you to General Manager Brad Lehner and Chef Lupe Gomez of Steven’s for this delicious meal!




February’s Farm to Table Chef Corey Grupe from O’Toole’s in LibertyvilleFarm To Table February 2016 019

Chef Corey Grupe of O’Toole’s Libertyville served up some Cuban flavor today at Farm to Table. Diners enjoyed Cuban Sandwiches, Black Bean Soup, Pineapple and Avocado Salad, and Fried Plantains. Student Nicholas T. said, “I’ve been here since Kindergarten and I think this was one of the best meals I’ve had here. Magnifique!” Thank you, O’Toole’s, for giving us a taste of the Caribbean on a cold February day!





January Highlights with our homegrown chefs–Amy Jamison and Lori Maier!

HHH 2015 002

Click the Picture to see the Kindergarten Hen Helpers Slideshow

This month, our moms took over the kitchen and created a Chef Salad with Chicken (featuring the Kindergarten eggs) with the dressing recipe courtesy of Melissa Ritter our first Farm to Table chef, baguette, fruit and Chef Lori’s famous cabbage soup.  All who took part in the meal enjoyed it from start to finish. Many thanks to our many Farm to Table voluteers, led by Elizabeth Conlon, our guest chefs Lori Maier and Amy Jamison! Click on the picture to the right to see the Kindergarten Farm to Table Slideshow!







November Highlights and Guest Chef Chef Rick Starr Farm to Table November 2015 029of Ad-Lib Geocafe in Lindenhurst Chef Starr created a sumptuous November Farm to Table lunch.  300+ diners feasted on a lunch of Sandhill Root Vegetable Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette and Bleu Cheese; 3 Grain Risotto with Millet, Red Bulgur and Wheat Berry, Pumpkin Almond Cream and Butternut Squash; and Apple Crisp.  Thank you, Ad-Lib and Chef Rick, for sharing your culinary talents with us!




October Highlights and Chef TunGuest Chef Tun of Karma Asian Food & Fine Wine in Mundelein Thank you to Karma Asian Food & Fine Wine for partnering with us for October’s wonderful Farm to Table lunch of Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Onions and Craisins; Farmer’s Squash Stew, served with Red Bell Pepper Couscous; and Apple-Squash Crisp with Caramel Sauce. Lunch was delicious!




September Highlights and Guest Chef Jean Marc from Cafe Pyrenees in LibertyvillePicture2

Our September Farm to Table partners,  Chef Jean-Marc Loustaunau and Mari Loustaunau of the Cafe Pyrenees generously supported us and partnered with us in creating a delicious meal of Ratatouille, Boeuf Bourguignon, Garden Salad and Creme Caramel. We thank them for setting the table for a fabulous year ofculinary delights. Video Interview of September F2T Lunch.



Farmer’s Corner: Special thanks to Prairie Wind Family Farm for creating a Farm to Table CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to support PCCS’ program this year.  We are thankful for such a wonderful partner who supplements our gardens with more farm fresh produce each month.