HBUHSD hires new chief ‘chef’

JOHN CHIU (left) with two members of his food and nutrition service team (Kyle Nguyen and Cynthia Herrera).

The Huntington Beach Union High School District has announced the hiring of John Chiu as Food and Nutrition Services Administrator.

No stranger to HBUHSD, Chiu has been overseeing the HBUHSD Nutrition Services Department with Chartwells K12 since July 2020. Prior to that, he was a nutrition services district manager overseeing 16 school districts across California, Arizona, and Nevada.

With nearly 20 years in the food service industry, he has worked in almost every role from dishwasher to director of food and beverage most recently at Knott’s Berry Farm.

Chiu attended York University in Toronto, Ontario, where he studied kinesiology and health science for his undergraduate work. He then furthered his education at the University of Guelph, Ontario, where he obtained his MBA in hospitality and tourism management. 

Chiu has followed his passion for providing nutritious meals to students by entering a career in school nutrition because he believes in the positive impact that it can have on young minds.

“When John joined our team in 2020, he immediately made an impact for good with each school site and with the students,” said Assistant Superintendent of Business Jeff Starr. “John and his team continue to find ways to provide healthy meals for our students while catering to the many different nationalities in our district. 

“He and his team have provided meals for our athletics programs, fed our communities during COVID-19, and improved the site facilities to accommodate more students by creating an inviting storefront approach to our cafeterias. John is a visionary individual who is always looking at ways to provide for our students and staff. We are excited for John to officially join our district team.”

Chiu said “I feel like the lucky one when I get to work with a group of [nutrition service] professionals who come in day after day and genuinely care about the quality of the food they prepare and are driven by the wholesomeness and responsibility of their job. I am very thankful

for this opportunity to work with a district that allows us to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation in making school meals a pillar of the school experience.”

The HBUHSD serves Huntington Beach and most of Fountain Valley and Westminster.

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