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Holiday Meal Highlights RHS Staff Appreciation
Main Course
The main course was a full plate of Thanksgiving favorites with a Southwestern flair. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The Thanksgiving luncheon that the Culinary Class served up for Riverbank High School staff and district personnel was held last week to show their appreciation. Instructor Emily Cowdrey said 16 students from the culinary class cooked the entire meal and about 20 leadership students helped serve it up.

“It was a success,” stated Cowdrey. “Everything was made from scratch … from the mole, which took a student five days to make. She said it almost killed her but it turned out delicious.”

Also made from scratch was the mayonnaise for the corn salad.

Many herbs were used for the meal that the students got from their own garden on campus. Cowdrey expressed that leftover pumpkins from Halloween were roasted for the empanadas and ice cream that was served for dessert and fit their Southwestern theme.

“We made the chocolate chips for the ice cream and roasted peppers for the mashed potatoes,” added Cowdrey. “They were all responsible for helping do all of the components.”

Students wore colored aprons to represent which area they were helping in whether it was a server, busser, or dish washer. The culinary class wore Chef Jackets.

Leadership assisted in serving the meal, as well as providing decorations including the appreciation banners for the teachers and helped wash dishes.

Building and Construction students helped build the planter boxes which were the center pieces for the tables that were set up.

The menu included a Mexican street corn salad called Esquites to start, the main course of turkey roulade in mole sauce, roasted turkey breast, cumin chili gravy, green beans and carrots in cilantro pesto sauce, southwestern cornbread stuffing, poblano mashed potatoes, cranberry mandarin relish and pumpkin empanada with sage icing, pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream, and a cranberry orange mocktail.

“The lunch was fabulous and a great way for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills learned in the Culinary Arts and Ceramic classes,” stated Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp. “I really enjoyed the corn salad and the turkey; helps to set the tone for the holiday season.”

The compliments continued from the staff at the luncheon including rave reviews from Principal Sean Richey, according to Cowdrey. She also handed out recipes for those that requested them. Although there was a situation with the empanadas the class was able to adapt and deliver the dessert.

“I think it’s a good tradition to honor the teachers that work here and a wonderful platform to show off our culinary program and skills,” expressed Cowdrey. “The students were amazing. They actually said they thought it was going to harder than it actually was. They were so proud.”

“Ms. Emily Cowdrey did such a great job of working with students to prepare an award winning meal,” added Camp. “It was also nice to eat on plates made by Ms. Holly Cortes and her ceramic students. I’m already looking forward to next year.”