The Pine Bluff School District will be hosting food tastings at noon on Thursday, Aug. 10, at Pine Bluff High School and Jack Robey Junior High School as part of its new partnership with Chartwells K12 food services.

Chef King, the former Sous Chef for the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, will be on site discussing the new meal options for the district’s students. King graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College in May 2017. While attending school he also became a member of the UAPTC Culinary Competition Team, which earned bronze medals from the American Culinary Federation at their regional 2016 and national 2017 culinary competitions. King was also a member of the 2017 Gold Medal winning team in the Arkansas Diamond Chef Competition.

“Chartwells K12 food services company and the Pine Bluff School District are collaborating to create healthy scholars today and healthy communities for a lifetime,” a news release from Chartwells K12 said. “Chef King will be teaching our scholars about making wise choices about food and exposing them to healthy alternatives. It is an exciting time for the scholars of the Pine Bluff school district and their partner Chartwells K12. When scholars enter the doors on Aug. 14 they will walk into newly revamped cafeterias and new menu choices.”

Using input from student surveys, tastings and everyday lunchroom conversations, the Chartwells K12 chefs and dietitians collaborated with staff at Pine Bluff School District to spice up the school’s menus with a wide variety of healthy food options and bold new flavors, the news release said. The new menu includes:

• Orange Glazed Chicken

• Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

• Chicken Alfredo

• Taco Tuesday’s

Throughout the year, Chartwells K12 will hold chef-and-registered-dietitian-led tastings with students to talk about new healthy foods and ingredients. King will also visit schools through the Chefs2Schools program to help students engage with healthy foods and learn how to eat well for a lifetime.

In addition, Pine Bluff School District is disrupting the traditional lunch line and delivering meals to students in fun and creative ways, the news release said. For example, there will be a pizza station, Mexican bar, salad bars, fun lunch days, deli station, second chance breakfast and unlimited access to fresh fruit and vegetables in between meals.

“As technology changes the classroom, Pine Bluff School District is bringing technology to the forefront of the café dining experience to help students and their parents prioritize healthy food choices, a direct influencer of classroom performance,” according to the news release.

“Through Nutrislice, an exclusive partner of Chartwells K12, Pine Bluff School District is continuing to build a healthier and safer school environment through nutritious foods and full menu transparency. In addition, Nutrislice provides menu descriptions and truly representative food photography taken by Chartwells K12 chefs in schools.”

Nutrislice delivers Pine Bluff School District menus online through smart phones, email and the web with recipe descriptions, original photos, and nutrition and allergy information.

The Nutrislice app is available from from the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). Menus can also be searched for at

“Chartwells K12 is a proud partner with Pine Bluff School District. Our eat. Learn. Live. Philosophy guides our team in delivering on each component of our promise from great food (eat) to developing food and nutrition education (learn), and focusing on the whole child through key partnerships that support students in and out of the cafe (live),” the news release said.