ANC 2013, Kansas City: Exhibit Hall Cooking Demo with Chef Adam Fisher, Denver Public Schools

One of the biggest trends in the world of school nutrition right now is scratch cooking. Back in February, the School Nutrition Foundation produced a webinar on just this topic for our Webinar Wednesday series, entitled “From On-site Baking and Working with National Brands, Strategies to Introduce Scalable Whole Grain Scratch Techniques.” Presented in partnership with ConAgra Mills, the miller of Ultragrain®, we discussed processes, best practices, and resources to help school nutrition professionals introduce scratch cooking into their school kitchens. You can review our archived scratch cooking webinar online, and access the PowerPoint slides used during the webinar.

We attended a scratch cooking demonstration when we were at ANC in Kansas City, and taste tested some of the foods being produced by the Denver Public Schools Food & Nutrition Services staff. Chef Adam Fisher, area supervisor for Denver Public Schools, gave attendees on the Exhibit Hall floor a cooking demo—and food tasting—with recipes developed for DPS students, using ConAgra Mills Ultragrain flour. We watched as Chef Fisher whipped up a batch of DPS Cinnamon Rolls, and Spicy Chicken Mac & Cheese.  The rolls are baked using the Ultragrain flour, while the Spicy Mac & Cheese employs protein-enriched, whole grain-rich pasta that has a mild flavor and smooth texture that students prefer over traditional whole wheat pasta.

It was easy to watch Chef Adam Fisher work, his movements reflected in the mirrored surface above his work station.

We were invited to taste test both dishes, and let’s just say those kids in Denver are pretty lucky! The rolls were light and airy, with a smooth texture, while the spicy chicken pasta offered lots of delicious kick with pasta that held its texture well through the baking process. When we Tweeted pictures of the spicy mac & cheese, we had folks ask us to share the recipe, so here it is for your enjoyment! Additional DPS recipes can be found on their website.

DPS Spicy Chicken Mac & Cheese. This picture does not do it justice--so delicious!

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbl. Vegetable Oil
  • 1.5 tsp. diced onion
  • .25 tsp garlic granules
  • .5 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Sauce

Preparation Instructions

  1. Dice onions very finely
  2. Heat oil; add onions and cook until tender, then add garlic granules
  3. Add hot sauce and simmer 10 minutes


  • .25 cup butter
  • 1 lb. Ultragrain Pasta®–Macaroni
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • .25 tsp. pepper
  • 1 qt. + 1.33 cups milk
  • 6 oz. Cheddar Cheese
  • 6 oz. American Cheese
  • 18 oz. fajita meat

Preparation Instructions

  1. Place meat in bowl, drizzle sauce over meat and toss to coat evenly
  2. Melt butter in steam table pan in the oven
  3. Place pasta in pan with melted butter, stir until pasta is coated with butter
  4. Cut American cheese into cubes
  5. Sprinkle cubed American cheese and shredded Cheddar cheese over butter-coated pasta and salt and pepper
  6. Place sauced meat over cheese, distributing chicken evenly throughout the pan; do not stir
  7. Pour milk around edges of the pan (do not disturb cheese and meat on top of pasta)
  8. Place in 325 degree oven for approximately 1-1.5 hours

Yield: 13 servings

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One Response to ANC 2013, Kansas City: Exhibit Hall Cooking Demo with Chef Adam Fisher, Denver Public Schools

  1. Pingback: Ultragrain: “Unlock Your Menu Potential: Secrets to Whole Grain Success”

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