Fairfield Ledger

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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

New Chef’s Club members giving to community

By VICKI TILLIS. Ledger news editor | Nov 08, 2012
Photo by: VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo Fairfield High School students Landen Greiner, left, and Alex Christensen chop onions and peppers for the breakfast being prepared by the Chef’s Club Wednesday morning at SunnyBrook Living Care Center. The new club, organized by FHS junior Jordan Whitney, is looking for more opportunities to cook in the community.

Move over Paula Deen; there’s a new kid in town — in fact there’s about 42 of them in the new Chef’s Club at Fairfield High School.

FHS junior Jordan Whitney started the new student organization this year, but it’s not the first cooking club the high school has had.

Whitney said he recalls looking at the small, black-and-white photo of his grandfather, Lewis Whitney, posed among 26 members of the Hi-Y Chefs in the 1946 Quill yearbook.

“It was always something he talked about and enjoyed,” said Whitney.

Whitney’s grandfather was head chef for the group, while Bill Allen was assistant chef and Max Brown was secretary-treasurer. The faculty advisor was Elizabeth Murfield, who taught home economic classes.

According to the yearbook, “These boys can really cook! Their lemon meringue pies and meat loaf are something to be proud of. The Chefs are famous for their waffle suppers and their cream puffs which didn’t puff. … The highlight of the year was the Christmas dinner entertaining the men members of the faculty at which time certain boys displayed their carving ability. (?)”

Whitney and about 13 members of the new Chef’s Club, along with its sponsor Mary Ellis, a teacher’s associate at Washington Elementary School, cooked and served breakfast for residents of SunnyBrook Living Care Center early Wednesday morning.

“I think it’s good the youth are giving back to the community,” said Ellis. “Here they are unselfishly giving their time on a late-start Wednesday [when they don’t have to be to school until 10 a.m.] to others. I’m so proud of all of them.”

Whitney said the Chef’s Club members are planning to cook for a group like SunnyBrook at least once a month, to cook the school lunch one Wednesday each month and, of course, to cook for themselves.

But, he continued, the club also is looking for other opportunities to cook “at retirement homes to maybe some Elk or Lions club-type events,” and eventually — maybe next year — at cooking competitions like those hosted by Indian Hills Community College.

In addition, the Chef’s Club also is seeking donations so it can purchase its own food to cook, Whitney said.

Anyone who would like information about having the club cook for them or who would like to donate to the club can call Whitney at 919-9549.

Ellis added donations, made out to the Fairfield High School, with “Chef’s Club” noted in the memo line, can be sent to the activity director’s office at the high school.

Whitney said his fellow high school students think the Chef’s Club is a cool idea.

“Not only are we learning to cook, but we’re helping others at the same time and giving back to the community,” he said. “Any high school kid can join. We’re a pretty diverse group of kids.”

Those joining don’t even have to have cooking experience, although Whitney said, “I do. I cook around the house, but don’t always do a good job of cleaning it up … country fried steak, sausage and gravy casserole, whatever sounds good, but this whole egg thing …” he said as he waved his hand toward the students working in the SunnyBrook Living Care Center kitchen Wednesday morning, “is new to me.”

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