Students make lunch for FHS staffJunior Jordan Whitney inspired by grandpa to start FHS Chef’s Club
Some high school students began their day in the kitchen this morning preparing lunch for about 75 people, no small undertaking.
About a dozen Fairfield High School members of the FHS Chef’s Club worked before school in the Club Room at Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store, concocting homemade barbeque sauce and coleslaw dressing for an FHS staff appreciation lunch centered around pulled-pork sandwiches.
Alex Love and Mason Ellis rolled potato balls made with 15 pounds of mashed potatoes, chopped green onions, chopped Canadian bacon, grated cheddar cheese and eggs. Club sponsor Mary Ellis explained the process to roll potato balls in prepared bread crumbs to Max Spalla and Nicolas Rich while oil was heating to deep-fry the potato balls.
Club members Sage Richmond and Allison Angstead gathered the ingredients to make banana bars with cream cheese frosting and went to the bakery to create the dessert.
“We hope to finish up preparations by 9:30 or so this morning,” said Logan Angstead. “Hy-Vee will deliver the food to school for lunch.”
Krystal Weirup and Joanna Funkhouser stood at one end of the cooking island, patiently scooping mayonnaise from jar to measuring cup, mixing it with buttermilk for the coleslaw.
“I like cooking,” said Weirup in response to why she joined the Chef’s Club. “I’ve never made coleslaw before, because I don’t eat coleslaw.”
Funkhouser said she joined the club to see what it was like. Both girls said they enjoy the club and have learned new things.
“Lots of area businesses donated door prizes for this appreciation lunch,” said Jordan Whitney, head chef and club originator.
FHS staff were treated to lunch today as well as being eligible for door prizes from the community.
Whitney began the club, which is school-sponsored, but meets outside of school hours.
“I was inspired by my grandpa, Lewis Whitney, who was the head chef of the Hi-Y Chefs Club [at Fairfield High School] in 1946,” he wrote in a brochure about the club. “He was involved in everything from football to drama, but he always told me how Chef’s Club was the most fun. In honor of him I decided to start my own chefs club at the present day high school with the goal being to have fun while serving people.”
Whitney said he’s willing to try just about anything in the kitchen.
His mother, Ronda, was there this morning, having mashed the potatoes at home the night before.
“They have a lot of fun cooking together,” she said about her son, his friends and club members. “They entered an Iron Chef contest at Indian Hills and the night before the contest, I woke up at 1 a.m. and could smell vinegar. The boys were still up, experimenting with balsamic vinegar reduction. I couldn’t believe it.”
Whitney said they didn’t end up using the vinegar at the contest, but the FHS Chef’s Club did earn runner-up honors in the cooking competition. He is a junior this year and looks forward to continuing the club next year.