The Culinary Specialists of PA

by Noah Schmidt, PAW Writer

“They’re the hardest working people at Providence,” according to Mr. Brian Dudley. “The nicest people in the school,” according to Luke Tapani. They are, as Mr. Dudley insisted I call them, “the culinary specialists,” of Providence Academy, also known as the lunch ladies.

Lunch Lady Doris DOES NOT work at PA.  She's at the school down the street
Lunch Lady Doris DOES NOT work at PA. She’s at the school down the street

The culinary specialists have long days at PA, working tirelessly to ensure that the students can enjoy fantastic lunches every day. Mrs. Subielka, one of PA’s lunch ladies, said, “we spend most of our time prepping food, prepping the area, hand-wrapping the cookies, stocking the drinks, setting up salad bars, carrying out trays, plates and bowls.” This writer was extremely impressed upon discovering the time that goes into wrapping each and every sumptuous chocolate chip cookie.

When asked what the most annoying parts of her job were, Mrs. Huro, another culinary specialist instantly replied. “Marshall makes us peel potatoes, every single one of them just like your grandma does. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little annoyed when kids throw them away without eating them.” I wanted to figure out what we, as students, could do to make their jobs easier and more enjoyable. Mrs. Subielka and Mrs. Huro said, “I’m disappointed when students choose to help themselves to the salad bar when they order a la carte. They know it is stealing but they do it anyways. Other than that, excessive loudness can be annoying, messes on the salad bar are a bother, it can be tedious when students throw their trays at the washing station when they’re done without stacking them.” And last but not far from least, a lunch room sin the author of this piece has committed far too many times: the lack of a lunch card at the checkout line. When students queue to pay for their lunch, the lines grow excessively long and if a student forgets their card, the catering specialists are forced to manually search for the student’s account on the computer, slowing the process down like crazy. “Kids do it every day and it is always a pain, it’s better if they know their PIN number, but it is still not fun.”

The job is not all doom and gloom. There are some encouraging aspects as well; there certainly should be! “You really get to know some of the kids and their personalities which is really fun. Senehue (another server) likes to speak Spanish with some students, which is cool to watch. The kids generally have great manners, lots of thank you’s. Oh, and I really like to see kids excited about a certain meal. It makes it worthwhile,” said Mrs. Huro.

We here at Providence are treated to excellent lunches. We come to school and get to indulge in home-made chicken tenders, zesty fish tacos, flavorful stir fries, a variety of ice-cream flavors, succulent fresh fruit, hand-wrapped cookies, and hand-peeled potatoes among other fine dishes. And we have the women in white to thank for these delightful meals. Next time you check out of the lunch line, make sure to have your lunch card, and more importantly make sure to let our culinary specialists know that you appreciate their hard work and kindness.