Chef Mark Sandoval Serves up Smiles for Chefs for Kids


Our very own board member Chef Mark Sandoval puts his efforts where his heart is, and when it comes to Chefs for Kids his heart is all-in. Not only is he the newly-elected Vice President of Chefs for Kids, each year he spearheads UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality’s efforts to sponsor a breakfast. He gathers his culinary students to cook up a delicious meal for our kids.

This is his second time preparing this breakfast in the last two months. The breakfast at Sister Robert Joseph Bailey ES was originally scheduled for December 8. Just as Chef Mark and his team had finished preparing all the breakfasts, they learned the Chefs for Kids CHEFmobile was unable to start and wouldn’t make it to transport the breakfast. Chef Mark immediately made several phone calls to try and find alternate food-safe transportation, but with no luck the breakfast was unfortunately canceled. 

He didn’t let this get him down though. Chef Mark found a way to make use of the original meals. Then he rescheduled and his team cooked breakfast all over again so our friends at Sister Robert Bailey Joseph ES wouldn’t miss out on a delicious healthy breakfast this year. 

The special breakfast took place on February 2. All around the room, all we could see were smiles on the kids’ faces as they chowed down on breakfast sandwiches, tater tots, grapes, milk, plus smoothies prepared by Executive Chef Mark Sandoval from UNLV and his students. 

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast. One child said “I didn’t get to eat breakfast today, so I’m very excited for this.” Another third grade student said this was their first time trying a grape – but it tasted yum! Sadly, this is a comment we hear all too often. Some parents can’t afford food for the home. Some parents don’t like certain foods and therefore never introduce their kids to them. And some kids are just picky and won’t try new foods at home. It takes putting them in a new environment with their teachers and friends/peers to get them excited about trying something new. 

Either way, it reminds us of why we do this important work. To our members who volunteer at these events – thank you. Keep your energy up! We have one more breakfast on February 9. Chefs for Kids is also in need of more culinary sponsors. If your company wants to step up to the plate as Mark has, simply email to get the conversation started!

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