The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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The Student News Site of Fauquier High School

The Falconer

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Thanks for reading The Falconer. We're happy to provide you with award-winning student journalism, free from bias, conflicts of interest, and paywalls. We're able to continue to operate through the generous support of our local community. If you're able, please consider making a donation. Any amount is incredibly helpful and allows us to pursue new and exciting opportunities.

INSIDE LOOK: Culinary Preps for Award Banquet

Culinary+students+are+ready+to+serve+food+at+The+Best+Teacher+of+the+Year+event.+From+left+to+right%3A+Nicole+Squitieri%2C+Saoirse+Tucker%2C+Dawson+Stidman%2C+Ryan+Toothman%2C+Shane+Hodsgon%2C+Rashed+%28RJ%29+Moslay%2C+Bailey+Brock%2C+Carlos+Marin+Barrera+Jr.%2C+Mason+Aliff%2C+and+Rori+Ressler.
Courtesy of Rebecca Cook
Culinary students are ready to serve food at “The Best Teacher of the Year” event. From left to right: Nicole Squitieri, Saoirse Tucker, Dawson Stidman, Ryan Toothman, Shane Hodsgon, Rashed (RJ) Moslay, Bailey Brock, Carlos Marin Barrera Jr., Mason Aliff, and Rori Ressler.

On April 8, 2024, the first day back from spring break, “The Teacher of the Year” event was held at Fauquier High School. FHS’ culinary program, led by culinary teacher Rebecca Cook, took on a prominent role in feeding the large number of teachers and other professionals who attended the event. This is not the first time Cook and her students have participated in such a significant event; on the contrary, they have been doing it for six years. Each school in the district has its own culinary program that they always try to involve if they have an event in their school. This year, FHS was honored, and Cook and her talented students are always happy to help and show off their brilliant cooking and catering skills as they serve food at the event in addition to cooking.

The students were the ones who ultimately shaped the entire menu. “I let the students choose the items, and then we reviewed them, and from there, as a [group], we picked ones that we think work the best,” Cook explained. The final stars of the show were strawberry cupcakes and two less sugary desserts of fruit option. For the savories, Italian skewers, spinach wraps, cucumber canapés and a seven-layer dip cup with homemade tortilla chips.

The choice of dishes was also strongly influenced by several factors, as students could basically choose anything, but these dishes had to meet specific criteria. It was important that the dishes could sit out for a while, hold better and be allergy-free. It was also essential to consider the dishes prepared at previous events since some were crowd favorites. Various new dishes are presented at each event, but only one never changes: Italian skewers. “It was Mr. Kelican’s favorite [dessert],” explained junior Nicole Squitieri.

The students only had a little time to prepare the food, but their professionalism and organized teamwork did them a favor, and all the dishes were prepared in one day. The students from culinary I & II classes and members of the FCCLA club worked on the cooking. Each student was given a specific role and dish they were taught how to prepare. Squitieri shared how the cooking process went, “We are trying to start with the food that takes the most time, so by the end, we can easily do other stuff, and if someone finishes, then they go and help others.” One of the culinary students, junior Shane Hodsgon, also added a word about his own experience with the whole cooking process for the event, “It was a long process [with] a lot of repeating stuff over and over again, but it was worth it.”

And it was actually worth it, as the food turned out to be simply delicious. Once again, all the visitors complimented the different dishes the students prepared with their skillful hands, so it’s worth a standing ovation for Cook and her talented assistants.

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Thanks for reading The Falconer. We're happy to provide you with award-winning student journalism since 1963, free from bias, conflicts of interest, and paywalls. We're able to continue with the generous support of our local community. If you're able, please consider making a donation. Any amount is incredibly helpful and allows us to pursue new and exciting opportunities.

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About the Contributor
Jane Khyzhniak
Jane Khyzhniak, Entertainment Editor
Hi! My name is Jane and I’m a freshman here at FHS. It’s my first year working as a staff member in The Falconer and in the journalism field in general. I’m a fashion enthusiast who loves good books, jazz music, and art (especially Renaissance era one). In my free time I like to bake, write poetry, and go to galleries.
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