A Culinary Arts Thanksgiving


Maia Weissman, staff writer

Every year on the day before Thanksgiving break,  Student Resource Time (SRT) room 1176 is transformed overnight into a pop-up restaurant. Complete with warm lighting, linens, and fine art and paintings made by South students, the atmosphere could not be more professional, Dawn Hall, Career and Technical Education Instructional Supervisor said.

The Thanksgiving breakfast is an elaborate meal prepared annually by students in the culinary program. The meal is a token of appreciation for staff and faculty, giving them time during the day to stop by, grab a bite, chat with other teachers, and relax, Hall said. 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get together with colleagues prior to the holidays and enjoy some beautiful food,” Hall said. 

The entire meal is fully prepared by the culinary students, who decorate the SRT classroom to look like a real restaurant, using paintings created by students, Hall said.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to show off all the things that the culinary program has to offer as well as showcase the fine arts program, she added.

“We have some displays of fine arts and CTE projects, drawings, and paintings to have something in the room for [teachers]to look at to celebrat[e] student work and share [their art],” Hall said.

The preparation starts weeks in advance, with students hand-selecting and testing out different recipes, Rachel Eshoo, a student in culinary arts, said.  This year, the menu includes bacon-wrapped dates, jalapeno cornbread muffins, apple cider donuts, and matcha green tea cupcakes in addition to 26 other meals hand prepared by students the day of the event.  Although preparation starts weeks in advance, students begin cooking many of the meals that morning, Eshoo said. 

“We pick out [the] recipes that we want about two and half [to] three weeks [in advance],” Eshoo said.

The Thanksgiving meal is a leadership opportunity for culinary students in the culinary program since it is mostly organized by the students, Hall said. Additionally, the Culinary Arts students are able to get an authentic experience of what it is like to work and cook in a restaurant, while also showing appreciation for the teachers and faculty, Eshoo said.

“It’s a unique event but it’s something the staff looks forward to every year and I’m excited to have new people in the building who have never really experienced it to see our students in action, ” Hall said, “ That’s the best thing we do at Glenbrook South. It’s always students leading.”