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Trio Of RHS Students Enjoys Culinary Work
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Riverbank High School culinary students are shown here with Chef Dan Costa, right, as they prepped and cooked bacon prior to the recent Community Brunch. Photo Contributed
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RHS Food and Nutrition Instructor Emily Cowdrey, center, took a group of students to the Community Brunch held at the Modesto Centre Plaza at the end of September. Photo Contributed

Three students from Riverbank High School, along with their instructor Emily Cowdrey, volunteered at the Community Brunch hosted recently at the Modesto Centre Plaza. The event was hosted by Chef Dan Costa in cooperation with The Salvation Army Red Shield, Stanislaus County Police Activities League, Society for disAbilities, The Education Foundation of Stanislaus County, and Without Permission to support the youth within the community.

There were two students from the food and nutrition class and one student from the culinary class that received community service hours for participating in this event. Prior to the Sunday event in late September, the students on Saturday spent their day helping to prep bacon for the brunch, while at the actual event they utilized their cooking skills and cooked eggs and ham.

“We cooked over 100 pounds of bacon for 2500 people,” stated Cowdrey. “They learned how to work the grill and cook bacon. It’s harder than it looks. We also got to work among other volunteers from other high schools.”

The four hour shifts on both Saturday and Sunday morning included working one on one with Costa and Chef John Surla, Chef Brent Rodriguez, Chef Mark Cullors, and Chef Jamie Alderete.

“It is his (Costa) event he puts on for the community,” added Cowdrey. “So cool they got to work with him one on one.”

The menu for the Community Brunch event included crepes, made to order omelets, shrimp cocktail, house made sausage, Mexican chicken fajitas, country fried potatoes, fruits and vegetables along with beverages.

The active RHS culinary class has some other catering events in their near future, including senior brunch, a Day of the Dead celebration, and the annual Thanksgiving feast that is made for the high school staff, keeping the students busy in their food service studies for the next few months.