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Georgia Southern chef to participate in ‘Taste of College’ series in Thomas County Schools

Executive chef Clay Culpepper cooking in a Georgia Southern University kitchen. He submitted his recipe for Thomas County schools as part of their “Taste of College” event.

A Georgia Southern University chef is hoping to turn his cooking talents into a recruitment tool for his university. 

The recipes of executive chef Clay Culpepper will be featured in Georgia’s Thomas County School System for its “Taste of College” series April 25-29. For the event, chefs from five Georgia colleges and universities were invited to submit recipes to try on students. 

Culpepper won’t be cooking for the school. Rather, he was asked to send his recipes for the school staff to follow. His menu includes blackened chicken, slow roasted beef brisket, mashed potatoes, honey balsamic glazed baby carrots, steamed broccoli and apple salad.

He said he chose items that stood apart from traditional menu items like chicken fingers, and also made his selections “user friendly” for the staff who will have to follow his instructions.

Even though it adds a little bit more stress to the middle of the semester, Culpepper said he’s looking forward to making an impact. 

“It’s a nice feeling to be asked to participate in something and to get our name out there and in with high school students that may potentially want to come to school here,” said Culpepper. “That’s really what it comes down to.”

Culpepper is the executive chef in the Lakeside Dining Commons, and has a bit of a reputation with Thomas County. Eagle Dining Services’ Honey Balsamic Glazed Baby Carrots were recently featured in the Thomas County Schools Monthly Newsletter. Carrots are the Harvest of the Month, which is the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program’s farm to school initiative that highlights an item each month that can be sourced locally and served in Georgia’s school meals.


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