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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

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Nonnewaug’s Culinary Students Navigate Pressure of Senior Citizen Meal

The+Senior+Citizen+Meal+is+a+total+group+effort+for+John+Dominellos+advanced+culinary+students.+The+preparation+for+the+day+begins+as+early+as+October.+
Gary McVety
The Senior Citizen Meal is a total group effort for John Dominello’s advanced culinary students. The preparation for the day begins as early as October.

WOODBURY — The busiest time for the culinary classes at Nonnewaug has come, as in late November the school hosts a drive-thru catering event for community senior citizens who will have a plethora of food to choose from. 

The most impressive part of the event is that all of the food is prepped and made by NHS advanced culinary students who handle this pressure in stride.

“We’re surprisingly calm,” said junior advanced culinary student Matthew Dutton.

Nonnewaug senior Jaren Hunt, left, peels apples alongside Quinn Leonard for the apple tarts being served at the senior meal. (Gary McVety)

Nov. 30 will mark the 15th anniversary of the annual Senior Citizen Meal which is now delivered to the community as a drive-thru.

Since October, the students have worked through the preparation process, making just some of the food on the day of the event while other items remain frozen until the meal is distributed.

“We start in October and we chip away at things that we can do in advance,” said Nonnewaug culinary instructor, John Dominello, “such as making the boxes or making the turkey pot pies and apple tarts.”

Plenty of the ingredients used in the items are locally sourced from the area. Bozzuto’s Food Distributors donated fresh turkeys to Nonnewaug to be used in the pot pies, and apples from March Farm were sourced by NHS to be used in the apple tarts.

The culinary classes will continue with their curriculum until the days leading up to the event, when items that have not been frozen, like the maple basil corn muffins, are made and ready to be given warm to the seniors.

“Mr. Dom stresses out a lot more than we do, but we get our work done, stress-free,” said senior culinary student Quinn Leonard. 

With 140 senior citizens expected to attend, the school anticipates a packed roadway as the event will take place during the school day from 11 a.m. until noon, with the whole hour allowing students to interact with the seniors before they bring their meals home. 

Of course, this event isn’t just all about the food, especially for Dominello.

“I think it touches the senior citizens and the students equally. Students have an opportunity to work with the senior citizens, talk with them, and get to know them,” Dominello said. “And then the senior citizens get to see our students in action and see what we do here at the high school.”

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About the Contributor
Gary McVety '24, Reporter
Gary McVety is a senior at Nonnewaug High School and a first-year writer for the Chief Advocate. He is originally from West Haven and moved to Woodbury four years ago, beginning his high school career in a new town with a new school. Outside of school, he focuses his time around his job, where he works in the meat and seafood department at LaBonne’s in Woodbury. He has enjoyed writing since he can remember and enjoys exploring different opportunities and different writing styles, which led him to take journalism this year.
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