East Islip High School was the scene of a fantastic feast on November 18 – a tribute to the tastes and traditions of Thanksgiving. Best of all, it was prepared by the students themselves, under the supervision of teacher Kelly Schwender, who runs the school’s burgeoning Food & Nutrition and Gourmet Foods programs. “We started with offering one course section of 16 kids,” said Schwender. “Now we’re up to two sections filled with 28 students per section, as well as another elective foods class with 25 kids each on alternating days. The culinary program has grown tremendously.”

The participating students served 240 people, using nine turkeys and 60 pounds of potatoes. The feast took three and a half weeks to prepare, aided by donated food items. Turkey with all the trimmings was the star, accompanied by homemade applesauce, broccoli-cheddar muffins, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and more. A tantalizing array of homemade desserts – carrot cake, cream puffs, candied apple pie and fluffy pumpkin cheesecakes – left all the feasters sweetly stuffed.

“The feast supports the food programs offered to students at the high school,” said Director of Careers and Student Services Israel Malinowitzer, “and it also provides an opportunity for them to create a Thanksgiving meal for friends, family and staff.”