Our mission statement is: To nourish and educate young people for a lifetime of well-being. In order to accomplish this, Chef Azmin bases the menus he creates — for his home, and for the children at each and every school he serves — on the Mediterranean Food Pyramid rather than the traditional American Food Pyramid. Both pyramids recommend eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The difference lies in the kinds of fats included: the Mediterranean diet hinges on the consumption of foods prepared with oils derived from plants and fish that promote the production of good cholesterol and, ultimately, heart health. The result? People who use the Mediterranean pyramid as the basis of their daily meals are more likely to live longer than others, and see a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
AN EDUCATED APPROACH
The Sapphire at School program is overseen by doctors, dietitians, market trend experts, educators, and students. Menus offer a variety of flavors and choices, and each dish is created by Chef Azmin; some are served to patrons in his Laguna Beach restaurant, Sapphire Laguna, and others he cooks at home for his family. In all of them, he relies on healthy whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nutritious legumes, herbs, and spices to create bold, exciting flavors. The program offers servings of lean meats, all natural poultry and eggs, hormone-free dairy products, plenty of water for proper hydration, and, in spare amounts, sweets such as homemade cookies. We’re particularly sensitive to special diets, and provide menus to accommodate celiac and diabetic requirements. Additionally, we have omitted peanuts from our school menu to mitigate allergic reactions, and we don’t use trans fats, additives or preservatives. We can prepare our meals in on-site kitchens at school, or in our own 5,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, and deliver meals in our temperature controlled trucks. Our menus are published on-line for parents to review, and special meals can be pre-ordered.