Current and Archived News Stories
by Stephen Nelson & Betty Cooney
|David Flores serves Cheyenne Westmoreland. Photo by Ben Garcia
The cafeteria at Glendale Academy, sometimes referred to as the “Cougar’s Den,” is not always just a cafeteria. November 12th saw it transformed into a student-run restaurant. The restaurant opened at 5:00 p.m., and by 6:00 p.m., the cafeteria was packed. Outside the cafeteria door, a line of parents and fellow students buzzed with anticipation, waiting to try one of the eight different vegetarian menus created by energetic junior high students.
The event was called “Science Chef: Fine Dining Edition," and students who had recently studied nutrition were entrusted with setting up their own restaurant in order to serve tasty and healthy food to the community. These eighth graders operated in groups, each with their own business name. In one corner, “Pasta La Vista” endeavored to make nutritious Italian dishes. Across the cafeteria, “Los Latinos,” assembled their healthy versions of pupusas and potato tacos.
Students enjoyed their restaurateur roles. “I thought it was fun to experience what it was like to work in a restaurant, said Brendon Arimura, an eighth-grader. “The experience had an exciting and frantic feel to it. I spent my time in the back of the kitchen and I saw every person react differently to each situation. There were those who were freaking out, those who kept to themselves and that one dude who yells at everyone. Overall, it was a night that will not soon be forgotten.”
The evening was a success, not only because it served to help reinforce lessons in nutrition, but also because it presented career options for the future, and provided real-life experience in learning how to work together. Another positive result was that the event brought together the school and the community. “Too often,” said Stephen Nelson, who teaches Science and Religion, “the success of our children is only known in the classroom or at home. Few members of our community have the opportunity to see how much our students are learning and what they are capable of accomplishing.”
|Madison South, Eliana Escobar and William Wang deciding what to order for their meal. Photo by Ben Garcia
“This cooking lab project, which began several years ago as a food competition, has evolved into a practical application of nutritional information and career options,” Nelson added. “Prior to the event, students were tasked with filling different positions. Each group appointed a marketer who had to create fliers, posters and 30-second television and radio ads promoting the event, and their group in particular. Along with the marketers, there were menu fesigners, a cost analyst and a resource manager. Students were immersed in real-world details that go into providing fine dining, setting up a business and preparing healthy food that is visually appealing.
“I enjoyed participating in the 2nd Science Chef event at GAE,” said Chef Boulin. “We were able to show the children that food is not only a necessity for life, but can also be a way to minister to your fellow man in the same way Jesus did.
“I pray that they learned to appreciate how much work and love goes into food preparation and that they continue to learn the art of food preparation, because food not only nourishes the body, but the soul as well.”
“This event would not have been possible without all the diligent work of the parents of the eighth-grade class, Glendale Adventist Academy’s own Chef Boulin and his mother, Mrs. Cheryl Boulin, who helped beyond what anyone could have expected,” affirmed Nelson. “Above all, the school is thankful to God who has blessed us with these children and the time we have with them.”