In May, the American Culinary Federation (ACF), the largest professional chefs organization in the U.S., was asked to play an integral part in Michelle Obama’s latest Let’s Move! campaign initiative, the Chefs Move to Schools program, which will be run through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and led by Sam Kass, White House assistant chef and the food initiative coordinator. More than 50 ACF chefs will participate in the program’s kickoff at the White House June 4.

“We are going to need everyone’s time and talent to solve the childhood obesity epidemic, and our nation’s chefs have tremendous power as leaders on this issue because of their deep knowledge of food and nutrition and their standing in the community. I want to thank them for joining the Let’s Move! campaign,” Michelle Obama said in a White House blog posting May 13.

Chefs nationwide will get involved in the program by adopting a school in their community and working with teachers, parents, school nutrition professionals, and administrators to help educate kids about food and nutrition. ACF, the National Restaurant Association, and Share Our Strength will work with a select group of chefs participating in a pilot launch of the program over the summer. Volunteers will begin working in schools in the fall.

“The American Culinary Federation is honored to have been chosen as one of the key organizations in this White House initiative,” says Michael Ty, CEC, AAC, ACF national president. “The chefs who will participate in the pilot launch were selected for their previous volunteerism with ACF and our Chef & Child Foundation. We are pleased that so many of our chefs will be at the White House for the kickoff, gathered with like-minded chefs who are passionate about promoting proper nutrition and fighting the obesity epidemic in America.”

To view the full list of participating ACF chefs, visit

“I am thrilled to be a part of the first lady’s Chefs Move to Schools program,” says David Pantone, CEC, CEPC, CCE, AAC, dean of culinary education at Lincoln Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, one of the chefs traveling to the White House. “I am a strong believer that through proper diet and exercise a child can be better prepared for school, social activities, and home life. I am proud to play my part in the fight against obesity by educating others and giving back to my community.”