A Better School Lunch

eat·i·quette noun \ˈee-ti-kət, -ˌket\ a school lunch program implemented in select Philadelphia schools that uses fresh healthy food, family style dining, and other principles to improve the lives of children.



What's Hot

New Recipes

Chicken Curry Stew

Quantity 6
Skill Level

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into ½“ dice

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

½ cup onion, diced into ½“ dice

1 garlic clove, minced

2 ¾ cups chicken stock or broth

1 bay leaf

4 tbsp. butter

2 ¼ cup flour

½ cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1 ½ lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & diced into ½“ dice

1 tsp. fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste


In a medium sized pot over medium heat, brown chicken in 2 tbsp. butter until thoroughly cooked.

Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

Add stock and bring to a lazy boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add bay leaf. Simmer for 1-1 ½ hours, or until the chicken is fork tender.

In a separate small pan over medium heat, whisk together 4 tbsp. butter and flour and cook for 3-4 minutes to make a roux. Add roux into stew, return stew to a lazy boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Add the potatoes and chickpeas. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Finish with curry powder and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately.


Great Chefs Event 2014


Tuesday June 10th, 2014, 6:00pm - 9:00pm


Urban Outfitters Headquarters, Navy Yard, Philadelphia


The 9th annual Great Chefs Event benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Vetri Foundation for Children. This spectacular celebration will showcase 4 dozen top chefs from throughout the US and Italy offering an unparalleled dining experience. Last year, we hosted upwards of 1,200 guests and raised almost $1.1 million. Click here for more event information! 


Chef Spotlight

Maria Sama

Chef Maria Sama is Food Service Coordinator at Community Partnership School, an innovative elementary school in North Philadelphia. She brings her cooking prowess and teaching talents to the K-5 students at CPS every Friday through Eatiquette, and we’re happy to share her expertise from the front line:

About Maria

Maria learned the cooking craft from her Italian mother who was an excellent home chef. Growing up, she was always helping out in the kitchen! She realized her passion early, and at the young age of 16 began helping her neighbor with a take-out lunch business.

Then she got serious about cooking. Maria attended culinary school and worked many jobs in many kitchens early on in her career. She explored every kind of cuisine she could, working with different chefs boasting diverse styles.

Eventually, Maria’s career became even more fruitful when she met her husband on the job. Together, they opened two restaurants: one in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania and the other in Boston, Massachusetts. Maria spent 18 years that she is very proud of – and rightfully so! – working at her last position as Head of Purchasing and Production for an upscale caterer.

And then she found CPS and the Vetri Foundation!

Maria on Kids & Eatiquette

Chef Maria loves getting the students at CPS excited about healthy eating. Working with kids in kindergarten through grade five, she takes advantage of their young age and open minds. Maria encourages them to try the food…see how it looks, smells, feels, tastes, swallows…see what they think – and maybe try it again!

Maria is more than just a chef – she’s a teacher too. She knows how much her students love visuals and tactile participation, so she makes sure to show kids the food they’re about to eat in its raw state, like they would see in the store or market. Ginger root, fresh herbs, brown rice, and even kitchen tools!

Each day before their Eatiquette lunch Chef Maria tells the children the what, how, and why of what they’re about to eat. No longer is lunch a mystery meal…with Eatiquette at CPS, the lunchroom is an exploratory adventure where kids learn about new, healthy foods, how they’re prepared, and, most importantly, how good they feel eating them!

Maria’s Tips & Insights

  • Being in the food world is almost like practicing law…it’s an endless education.
  • Let your kids and their friends be your food guinea pigs: have them come up with crazy food ideas and help cook them!
  • Cooking is an art, not a science.
  • All palates are created equal (at all ages)!
  • Always remember your triumphs with food – don’t focus on failures.
  • Experiment!

Maria wouldn’t hesitate to recommend cooking as a career. You have to work hard, but it pays off. You can work anywhere in the world and do what you love!


A Day in the Life

An Intern’s Perspective: Eatiquette
Read on for our intern Katherine's perspective on Eatiquette in the lunchroom! LEARN MORE >


Table Captains
Five or ten minutes before lunch at each of our Eatiquette partner schools, table captains arrive. LEARN MORE >


Teaching Kids to Cook
On a recent Thursday, the lunch crowd at Osteria had to make a little extra room for some Kindergarteners from Philadelphia's Bache Martin Elementary School. LEARN MORE >


Our Mission


Food Can...Empower Children, Food Can...Create Community, Food Can...Inspire Change

The Vetri Foundation for Children helps kids experience the connection between eating well and feeling good. Through food, education and social interaction, we give children the nutritional foundation they need to grow and thrive.


Together with our partners we have served 308,630 healthy, family style meals.