Soul food competition celebrates Black History

Minah Kim, Senior News Editor

The scents of corn bread and mac and cheese wafted through the air as Food and Culture classes brought a variety of dishes into the lobby.  In celebration of Black History Month, the classes competed in a “soul food” competition.

Soul food is cuisine popular in African American culture.  It is associated with Southern and Native American cuisine.  The four dishes the classes chose were corn bread, collard greens, mac and cheese, and peach cobbler.

Ms. Sally Reinhardt and Ms. Robyn Block’s Food and Culture classes celebrate a holiday every month by cooking dishes representative of the holiday.  In February, they celebrate Black History Month, but this year, they brought this celebration to teachers, administration, and students.

“This is a tradition we have every year,” said Ms. Reinhardt.  “The students found recipes online.  Each kitchen in the class cooked one dish.  I’m happy with the way it turned out.  I hope next year we can involve more students have the competition during 4.1 and 4.2.”

The idea for the Soul Food Competition came from Assistant Principal Dr. Brad Fitzgerald and freshmen Coleman Davis and Amani Myers.

“The first day of Black History Month went by and I was upset that nothing happened,” said Davis.  “We went to Dr. Fitzgerald and he said we could have a meeting 6th period to discuss what we could do.”

At this meeting, they decided to have a Black History Month fact of the day on the morning announcements as well as a Soul Food Competition.

The competition took place from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The judging was based 40% on presentation and 60% on taste.  Judges included art teacher Ms. Teri Hall, Physics teacher Mr. Thom Johnson, Assistant Principal Mr. David Miller, guidance counselor Ms. Karen Linsner, psychologist Dr. Joan Bester, social studies teacher Mr. John Davis, music teacher Mr. John Meyer, monitor Ms. Maria Augustino, and athletic trainer Mr. Rick Zappala.  The judges had no knowledge of who cooked what and they had half an hour to taste and judge the foods.

“Thanks to all the people and teachers who helped out,” said Myers.  “I’m thankful to Dr. Fitzgerald for helping us and wanting to plan this with us.  I think we should do more events like this for not just Black History Month but to celebrate other cultures as well.”

Judges had positive responses to the food.

“I liked the peach cobbler best,” said Davis.  “It’s important to celebrate Black History Month and I’m glad we got to do this.  I hope it becomes a tradition at Schreiber.”

“I was very impressed with the food,” said Mr. Johnson, “My expectations were low going into it, but I was impressed, especially with the collard greens. I’m a big fan of collard greens and these were done very well.”

Ms. Reinhardt’s period 3 and 4-2 class took first place in corn bread, mac and cheese, and peach cobbler.  Mr. Block’s period 1 and 2 class won for collard greens.  The overall favorite food was the salad-topped peach cobbler.  The winning recipes are available on the Family and Consumer page on the school website.

“This event was a success and celebrating different cultures is definitely something we want to have more of,” said Dr. Fitzgerald.