Cooking up some fun

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photo by Levi Cal Rivera

Principal Robert Frasca serves himself some of Dean Kelly Fate-Quinn’s cowboy chili. Fate-Quinn’s chili took first place in the chili category.

With crock pots full of chili and tables lined with silverware, this was different from a typical after school faculty meeting.

On Feb. 28, the school staff participated in a chili and side dish cookoff for the second year in the cafeteria, which featured many different types of chilis, salsa, mac and cheese and candied yams. The overall winner, as voted on by his peers, was school safety Daryl Harris with his mac and cheese, the first place chili winner was dean Kelly Fate-Quinn with her cowboy chili, and best side dish winner was also Harris with his candied yams. 

“[The event] is an opportunity for staff to showcase and sample items from their colleagues, and the event was a success,” assistant principal Reginald Miller said. “Anytime you have food, laughter and fun, it is always a good thing.”

Prepared dishes came from family recipes, recipes borrowed from restaurants and even from just throwing things together until they found something that worked. For Harris’ winning mac and cheese and candied yams, it came from multiple family recipes. 

Anytime you have food, laughter and fun, it is always a good thing.

— Reginald Miller

“My auntie and one of my cousins had different [candied yam] recipes, so I just kind of threw those together and came up with my own that is the best,” Harris said. 

For Spanish teacher Ivette Rhode, her second place salsa side dish came from a restaurant she used to work at. 

“I worked at a Mexican restaurant years ago, and when I left I was in good with the chef, so I asked if I could have this recipe, cilantro rice and black beans, and to this day those are my signature favorites,” Rhodes said. “[For the salsa] it all depends on how good the tomatoes are,—you could make the same recipe at different times and get something different each time.” 

Along with tasting great food, this event gave staff members time to bond and catch up.

“Our faculty and staff work hard for our kids and for our campus, so we just try to put some events together to let them have some fun and spend time together,” principal Robert Frasca said. “I hope to see it continue to grow, find ways to get more people to participate and come in and just be able to have fun at work a little bit.” 

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