Chefs class caters teacher appreciation luncheon

Cuban-themed lunch served at SC, NC


Spanish teacher Ellen Acuna dips dessert into chocolate fountain on May 5 (Lestina/LION).

Scarlett Lestina, Copy Editor

With National Teacher Appreciation Week spanning from May 2-6, the Chefs class hosted their annual luncheon for all LTHS staff, including teachers, student assistants, and administrators. The class of nine successfully served over 200 staff members. 

“This class was very dedicated, very motivated, and inspired to have a nice event,” Chefs class teacher Brianna Basic said. “That made it a lot easier. They wanted to do well and the food to be good. Everyone worked really hard.”

The chefs served the SC staff on May 3 and the NC staff on May 5. There were some obstacles regarding electrical issues, but the students overcame the issues, Owen Rintz ‘22 said.

“[The event at South] was more stressful because we had to commute and bring all the food there,” Markas Venclovas ‘22 said.

To make enough food for the vast amount of adults, the Chefs class had to start preparing in February, starting with picking a menu that matched this year’s theme of Cuban food, Basic said. After deciding on the recipes, the class made pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, rice and beans, an assortment of salads, and a chocolate fountain with various amounts of foods to use as dippers. The students then spent weeks preparing the food, which was frozen and reheated on the day of the event.

“We all hustled,” Basic said. “We were busy and had a lot to do but everyone was focused, and we did a really nice job for only having nine of us.”

Since the class was about half the size of a typical Chefs class, the students were in charge of more than usual. On the day of the lunches, the students were responsible for making the salads, reheating all the food thoroughly, and refilling the drinks.

“I like how this is a smaller class, since everyone gets to know each other,” Venclovas said. “You really do learn a lot about food management and catering skills.”

Along with making the food since February, the students also learned out of their textbook. This is preparing them to take their food test at the end of the semester, which if passed, will earn them their food management license, Basic said. In the curriculum, they learn other techniques besides cooking, such as sanitation and food safety rules. 

“In this event, of course we want our food to taste good, but it has to be prepared in a sanitary environment,” Basic said. “We learn proper food handling techniques and how we can avoid cross-contaminating food. We are serving hundreds of people, so we have a big focus on sanitation and making sure food is not stored or heated improperly.”

The food served at the luncheon was highly complimented among the teachers in attendance, Spanish teacher Ellen Acuna said.