Prepping for a Banquet

by Eduardo Dominguez (Mount Diablo), Janae Felix-Randolph (Vicente Martinez High School), Lexi Perez (Vicente Martinez High School)

Today, we had visitors from New Leaf: A Sustainable Living Collaborative, a program at Vicente Martinez High School. Every year, our visitors put on a lunch for local veterans. We are cooking for 115 veterans, teachers and students tomorrow. We had to “prep” vegetables for tomorrow’s menu. We cut up huge amounts of brussel sprouts, tomatoes and onions. That way, they’ll be ready for tomorrow.

Here are some of the things each of us learned today:

Eddie: I had an appointment and came late to class, so I didn’t get to work with the food. I joined the “logistics team.” When we work on logistics, we make sure that the cooks have everything they need. We help them so that they have everything in place. In “chef talk,” they call that the “mise en place” (pronounced meez on plaas). That’s French for “put in place.” Today, I helped clean the stations, and I did dishes. You might think that the job I did today might not be the most fun. But it makes me feel like I’m contributing. The cooks need their stuff.

Janae: We learned how to cut brussel sprouts. That was new for me. We also learned how to follow directions from a chef, and how to work in a team. The time went by so fast. That surprised me. It made me feel good about myself. I’ve never worked in a restaurant before. I do little things, but I don’t really cook. Today was fun.

Lexi: I never really knew how to cut vegetables. So I learned to cut big and small vegetables, and to work in a team.

Tomorrow, our Mt. Diablo class will go to Martinez to cook for the vets.

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