ACPS hires first executive chef

New ACPS executive chef Isaiah Ruffin. (Photo/ACPS)

Alexandria City Public Schools announced on Sunday that Isaiah Ruffin, a personal chef from the D.C. area, will be the school division’s first executive chef.

Ruffin, who began working with ACPS in October, started his career in the U.S. Army, where he worked for 13 years, according to the release. After leaving the Army in 2014, Ruffin worked as a chef in Austin, Texas, Denver, Colorado and eventually back home in D.C.

Ruffin has brought his emphasis on sustainable, locally sourced food to ACPS, according to the release. He’s introduced “veenie,” vegetarian sausage, to a skeptical group of fourth graders at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology and served up some Chicago deep dish pizza, with fresh-made dough and tomato sauce, to T.C. Williams Minnie Howard students.

Over the course of an ambitious three-year plan, Ruffin aims to make all ACPS meals in-house and increase the number of cultural dishes served, according to the release.

“I’d also like to see 75 percent of our food sourced locally, 80 percent of our students eating lunch with us and see our kitchens run on zero waste,” Ruffin said in the release.