How a breakfast wrap became a lunch at West Ferris Secondary

·2 min read

Hospitality students at West Ferris Secondary School have been firing things up in the kitchen, preparing a weekly lunch program that serves around 250 students and staff. These legendary lunches grew from the desire to create a breakfast wrap for a school literacy group.

Theresa Parise, a hospitality teacher, outlined the progression from humble wrap to lunch for 250 diners. “We began preparing lunches for the students participating in the lunchtime literacy workshops,” she said, speaking of her hospitality students. The lunches “were very popular” with the students, and the delicious bites “helped incentivize students to show up for some extra literacy support while being nourished at the same time.”

Food for thought indeed, and as the students were enjoying their lunchtime literacy, one of the hospitality students “suggested making a breakfast wrap,” Parise explained. And so it began. Breakfast wraps were prepared daily—but the student’s hunger still burned for more, the wraps were just fuelling the fire—so the hospitality class began exploring the idea of providing lunches on a grander scale.

Under the guidance of Parise, and with the collective student body’s hunger spurring them on, the hospitality students began researching a menu, and created some lunches consisting of a main dish, a side, and a dessert. Each week they created a different meal, “like a well-oiled machine,” noted Brett Hanson, the communications coordinator for the Near North District School board in a recent release.

The lunches are usually offered every Thursday. “Monday might be a baking day,” Parise explained, where periods one and two students will begin making the dough for an upcoming Thursday sandwich. Each lunch comes in at $8, and on average, 200 students indulge, as do 40-50 staff members, Parise observed.

It’s difficult to resist chicken club wraps with tomato bisque soup followed by strawberry parfait. Even fewer will deny themselves a panzerotti with Caesar salad and tiramisu cheesecake trifles—all items that graced the students’ lunch menu.

As almost all the items are made entirely from scratch, the food is excellent, and provides an opportunity for students to simulate the real-life workings of a restaurant. Students rotate positions, taking turns at the front of house, back of house in the kitchen, and performing all the prep and plating duties. A turn at the dishwashing station is also a must.

“The atmosphere is a healthy, tense vibe where everyone knows we have a job to do and a goal to meet,” Parise said. “I raise the bar quite high here as some students don’t realize how rewarded and accomplished they can feel at the end of the day.”

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca

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