Editorial: RHS Cafeteria Food Rocks

Members of our lunch staff, from left: Lucy Sandberg, Jason Cook, Maria Ceballos

Members of our lunch staff, from left: Lucy Sandberg, Jason Cook, Maria Ceballos

Abigail Lindsey, Opinion Editor

Most people grimace when they hear the phrase “cafeteria food.” But at Randolph, there are not many complaints about the food at all. In fact, students and staff tend to enjoy lunches here for the most part.

According to our lunch staff, the reason for this is our chef, Jason Cook. Yes, you read that right; our cook’s last name is Cook. He is a professional chef who has been in the culinary industry for 30 years and started his job at Randolph in 2021. It is not common for schools to bring in outside chefs when they can just hire a normal lunch staff who reheats frozen food from their food provider, so having someone like Cook is a luxury for us.

At Randolph, we do things differently. Despite public school lunch restrictions imposed by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the RHS lunch staff still manages to make delicious meals. My personal favorite lunch is the mac and cheese. When asked what makes the mac and cheese so special, Cook explained, “We make it fresh. We don’t use the frozen stuff.”

Mac and cheese is not the only food where we see this extra effort being put in. Since Cook arrived, the staff has been making minor improvements to make meals more enjoyable without actually changing the recipes. The vegetables, for example, are served roasted rather than boiled, which is a much more enticing way to eat an otherwise unpopular food.

However, even the foods that have been around for years are still appreciated on a day-to-day basis. When enthusiastic student Cecilia Madjor was asked what her favorite cafeteria food was, without missing a beat she said, “the potatoes!”

The crispy tater tots are certainly one of the most popular lunch offerings, which every student gets free with a hot meal. I know that every time I add tater tots to my tray, my friends steal them when I’m not looking. If that doesn’t say anything about how good the food here is, then I don’t know what will.