Chef In Tennessee School District Recognized With National Honor

The non-profit School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) has recognized Anthony “Chef T” Terrell, Culinary Specialist at Shelby County Schools, Memphis (TN) as one of five 2018 national School Nutrition Heroes.

Nominated by his peers, Chef T was chosen by SNF to represent the many professionals who have dedicated their lives to serving the needs of school children and the community. 2018 School Nutrition Heroes hail from all over the United States.

For nearly 9 years, students at Shelby County Schools have enjoyed the passion and generosity of Chef T. He works tirelessly for his students, his district and far beyond – with particular commitment to create a Farm to School program that features local produce in school meals. Chef T has also hosted various culinary training sessions for food service professionals in order to add more scratch cooking to local school menus. He held a seat on Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move To Schools” Advisory Board from 2014-2015 and was an Advisory Board member for Institute of Child Nutrition from 2014-2017.

Chef T (right) poses with former White House Executive Pastry Chef Susie Morrison (left) in front of a painting of George Washington hung in the White House.

Chef T represented the USDA Southwest Region as a chef for the Annual White House “Garden Harvest” in Washington, D.C. in 2015 and has been a member of the Culinary Institute of America “Healthy Kids Collaborative” board since 2014.

Chef T has become well known in the community, working with various groups to make his charitable efforts come to fruition. As a leader for an outreach ministry program for his home church, El-Shaddai Pentecostal Church of Christ, he rallies members of his local chapter of Tennessee School Nutrition Association (TSNA) and other industry associates to prepare care packages for 200 homeless people in Memphis. He combines his strong faith, culinary training and passion to help those in need, making sure these packages are delivered with a hot, healthy meal through a mission called Church Without Walls.

“Chef T has an uplifting spirit, with an attitude that can’t be matched,” said award nominator Jarri Vandiver, of food service sales agency Affinity Paramount. “He truly is an example of ‘hard work pays off.’ Memphis is an area where poverty runs rampant and Chef T is a shining light in that darkness. He is committed to his community and puts others before himself. He inspires me because when most people would give up on their community, he does not.”

Chef T’s accomplishments over the years have garnered him attention as one of the hardest working volunteers in his field – filling in anywhere there is need. After graduating from the TSNA Leadership Academy in 2010, he became Southwest TSNA District Representative in 2011. In 2012, he won the national School Nutrition Association’s ANC Best Practice Poster Award for his Jr. Chef’s Club and has since helped create various junior clubs across the country. He was one of the first trainers for TSNA Culinary Academy in 2013 and served as TSNA President for the 2015-2016 term. He is currently the advisor to the local Greater Memphis Chapter of TSNA, holding the position since 2011.

Chef T 2
Anthony “Chef T” Terrell, Culinary Specialist at Shelby County Schools, Memphis (TN).

Featured Image Caption: Chef T (right) with “Cooking up Change” student chefs, who created winning school meals as part of the Healthy Schools Campaign.

“Anthony’s service to his district, to his community and his state SNA is an example of a true School Nutrition Hero,” said School Nutrition Association CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “He is an exemplary SNA member and a perfect example of someone who puts community above self – a true Hero with faith and passion for others.”

All of the 2018 School Nutrition Heroes will be recognized at SNF’s Celebration of School Nutrition Heroes, during School Nutrition Association’s 46th Legislative Action Conference in Washington, DC in March. The annual Celebration is SNF’s signature and sole fundraising event to support the Foundation’s education, research and scholarships for school nutrition professionals.


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