Cooking Up A Recipe For Success

EHHS Culinary teacher, Chef John Profetto and students volunteered at EHHS’s Class M Wrestling Tournament by preparing, cooking, serving, and selling food to those attending Class M’s.

Mr. Profetto says he viewed the Class M’s as a “learning and community service opportunity for students and as a way to raise money for the culinary program.” Students were offered community service hours, which depended on how many hours they volunteered at the event. What Mr. Profetto hoped the students would get from volunteering at an event like this was, “experience dealing with customers, putting their culinary skills to use, furthering students’ interest in the field” and much more. In order to get the word out about the volunteering, Mr. Profetto mentioned the event to each of his classes as well as in Mr. DeNuzzo’s weekly newsletter. Getting students to volunteer turned out to be not so difficult. According to Chef Profetto, he had “so many students wanting to volunteer, he even stated that there were “students from other schools” and “parents emailing” him about volunteering.

Moving on to the food, Mr. Profetto coordinated with the cafeteria staff and ordered about $3,500 worth of food, along with any other materials needed such as utensils and napkins. The food was proportioned with the use of scales, measuring scoops, and rationing. Prices ranged from a minimum of $1 to a maximum of $6. Some of the foods provided to attendees were cheeseburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, chicken fingers, sandwiches, etc. There were a variety of drinks and pizza from Capotorto’s Apizza Center, which Mr. Capotorto hand-delivered himself. Any uncooked leftovers went to the cafeteria and culinary department to be used by students in future classes, and cooked leftovers were given to students and staff.

The Class M Tournament was the first big event for the Culinary Department and although the planning process for this event and the event itself was difficult, Mr. Profetto enjoyed volunteering just as much as his students did. EHHS Junior, Yanaliz Ortiz, and Natalie Gonzalez, two of Mr. Profetto’s students, said they “really enjoyed volunteering” and “had a lot of fun.” This event was the first time Yanaliz had volunteered and she said that she liked “volunteering with friends and getting to spend time with them.” Natalie has volunteered outside of school at her church, but she liked that she got to help out in any way she could. Both girls told their friends to volunteer at the event and said “if there’s another chance to volunteer, we’ll probably do it again”.

The Class M Tournament, a state class wrestling tournament, was the first event where students got to interact with customers. Students have volunteered before during Thanksgiving and Christmas where they made pies, pastries, and Christmas cookies. Mr. Proffeto and his students hope that they’ll get another volunteering opportunity like this in the future.