Chef Brings New Flavors To Local Elementary Cafeteria

Making children happy through food is a labor of love Josh Lankford enjoys. He's taking that challenge to a new level by expanding their palettes and their minds by serving dishes native to Taiwan and the Philippines.

Thursday, November 9th 2023, 5:48 pm



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Lunchtime looked different at one Pawhuska elementary school on Thursday.

A visiting chef who recently went to Southeast Asia brought new flavors to the cafeteria.

Making sure everything is seasoned and cooked to perfection is a labor of love.

"You know you could have a bad day, but if you present someone with a good meal, it can change the attitude of an individual, and I just love that feeling of just making people happy,” Josh Lankford, Southern Regional Chef with Taher, said.

Specifically, making children happy through food is a labor of love Josh Lankford enjoys.

"Feeding kids is the most rewarding. It's the most challenging, but it's the most rewarding,” Lankford said.

He's taking that challenge to a new level by expanding their palettes and their minds by serving dishes native to Taiwan and the Philippines.

"In Asian cultures, there's a lot of memories that are created around food,” Lankford said. “So, it's really neat to share that experience with them. The meal I created was inspired by both countries, so we are going to do a Filipino grilled chicken skewer. Along with that, we are going to do a Taiwanese cucumber salad, and then, of course, the Biko sweet indigenous rice treat my grandma always used to make."

Many kids like Jase Jensen skipped the patty melts and grabbed a tray to try Chef Lankford's cuisine.

Jensen thought it was tasty, but his favorite part.

"I liked the chicken the best,” Jensen said.

While Jensen and the other kids will probably return to pizza and cheeseburgers the next day, Chef Lankford is glad to expose them to something new and delicious.

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