All You Evere Wanted To Know: Presentation of the Evere Canteen Manager 🍴

We have recently decided to publish articles highlighting members of the school community. This week we meet Isabelle Panneels, manager of the Evere canteen.

We asked her a few questions, about her plans for the canteen, how the canteen is managed and what the role of the manager entails. We thank Isabelle for her availability and her help!

When you ask students from Evere what they like most at school, the most common answer is: “The canteen!”. Cooking parents are jealous. How is it that children like your food so much?

First of all, we want children to feel comfortable in a space that they feel is theirs. Thus, they prepare the tables, and each group has its own system to do so.

In addition, we are really committed to having children discover and love healthy cooking, vegetables and vegetarian options. This is why, throughout the school year, we organise workshops, games, and competitions to get children involved in food making.

Every year, together with the nurse of Evere School, we jointly offer health workshops in March for P1 and P3. This allows us to work with children in small groups in a more targeted manner.

You can follow our weekly menu on the APEEE website. It consists of a soup, a main dish and a small dessert every day. Children have half an hour to eat, giving them ample time to enjoy it. After that, the children clean the tables, so they feel responsible and at home.

The canteen in Evere received the ‘Good Food’ label in autumn 2022. What does this mean in detail?

The canteen’s ‘Good Food’label rewards a tasty, healthy and varied diet of the season, produced locally and with due regard to the environment, the use of organic products and good working conditions, from the field to your plate. This is why we are very careful to, among other things, minimise food waste.

You do much more than manage the kitchen. Can you tell us more about your career, your tasks as a canteen manager and your teaching work at school?

After completing my studies at the Pierre Romeyer Hotel School, I worked for several years in the canteens and catering services of the European Commission. For several years, I also managed the meals of the OIB childcare centres at CIE Overijse. After graduating in dietetic approach, I worked as Culinary Advisor. Since then, a balanced diet has been no secret for me !

When the Evere School opened, the APEEE called on Scolarest to manage the site’s canteen and I was asked to take over its management.

For me, it is important for a child to be aware of their diet and be able to discover other flavours other than those familiar to them. This is why we are proposing a didactic approach to making children like vegetables, legumes, cereals, etc. For example, I bring them different seasonal vegetables and teach them their names and flavours.

A child who eats well is better able to concentrate during the learning periods after the meal.

How can parents support healthy and sustainable food choices?

Sometimes small things can become a family activity, such as going to a farm that makes it possible to pick fruits or vegetables, or processing a few vegetables (celery, parsnip, broccoli, etc.) as a healthy aperitif, soup or even a courgette cake.

Everything can become a pleasant moment for the whole family, putting a few raw vegetables, and cheese sticks, in the snack box for school.

What are your future plans for the Evere canteen?

My first objective is to obtain the second fork of the ‘Good Food’label. I also wish to continue motivating our little students to waste as little food as possible.

Most importantly, we wish to continue to serve our small lunchtime customers with good and balanced meals.

Interview done by Ulrike Storost, APEEE Board Member

Photo: von Schöning

Please note that requests for punctual/permanent transport modifications

are not possible between the 6th September and 29th September included ❗

EXCEPTIONAL BUS DELAY 

Following the exceptional delay due to the shuttle organisation, our APEEE buses are currently running with a min. 30-minute delay.


We are sorry for the inconvenience.