Whether we buy lunch or just a little snack from the Dining Hall, the staff seems to know nearly all of our names. However, do we know theirs?
By: Deborah Jin (Grade 11) and John Wang (Grade 11)
Photos By: Mira Barrett McBride (Grade 11)
We often look around the Cafeteria (or the Caf, as students like to call it), purchase a goodie and then leave without acknowledging who provides these treats. The hardworking staff in the Caf cook and clean for us, and yet they do not get nearly enough recognition for their service. Over the past couple of weeks, we have had the privilege of interviewing a portion of the employees. This allowed us to gain a bit of insight into their lives.
Kitty has been working at WPGA for almost two years, and enjoys swimming and biking. She likes to swim casually and during the summer she likes to bike every day around Stanley Park. Although she is a kitchen helper in the cafeteria and does mostly catering, Kitty considers herself a foodie who “like[s] to eat a lot.” When asked what one thing she wants people to know about her, Kitty replied: “I’m a hard worker and I like to interact with all the kids!”
Pictured above: Kitty
Tracy has been working here for a little over a year, and is enjoying the environment of WPGA. She does not cook here in the kitchen, however she does like to cook Chinese cuisine at home – especially seafood and hotpot. Her general impression of the students is positive, calling them “nice” and “friendly.” She later adds with a laugh, “…because mainly, I work in the Junior [School] and not in the Senior [School.] It’s all the little kids!”
Pictured above: Tracy
Anri has been working at WPGA for three years as the office manager. Although she does not often interact with the students, her impression is that, “they’re happy.” Her hobbies include hiking and snowboarding, as well as trail running with her dog, Cadence. “She’s a husky-shepherd mix,” Anri says, as she shows us a picture of her animal companion. Before she goes back to work, Anri leaves a message for the students: “Just say ‘hi’ if you see me around, I guess, maybe?” Definitely go say ‘hi’ to her!
Pictured above: Anri
Robert has been working as a cook in the kitchen for two years. When asked what his favourite meal to cook from the Caf menu was, it turned out to be the noodle box! As for any meals that he wants to add to the menu, he replied with hot dogs. Robert once tried talking Chef Jeff into takeaways for hot dogs: “When he was away I said, ‘Yeah, we did it…it was a hot dog in a bun with some cheese on top!’” Another thing Robert loves to do is travel. One day he would like to travel to Thailand, however, he usually travels to Mexico, “because Thailand is so far. It’s such a long flight, and when you’re six feet tall on an airplane…”
Pictured above: Chef Robert
Chef Jeff has been working at WPGA for around six or seven years. He has a friendly personality and has became one of the students’ favourites here at WPGA. He enjoys the atmosphere and appreciates the students’ friendliness. His favourite thing to do at this school is teaching cooking classes to the Junior School students. Jeff’s current favourite food to cook is fresh, hot, steamy pasta with lots and lots of sauces. Maybe he will add this delicious dish to our school menu one day! Unlike Robert, Jeff holds a strong grudge against hotdogs. “You know what hot dogs smell like when you cook thousands of them? It’s terrible!” Not only does he despise them because of their smell, he also dislikes hotdogs’ “innutritious” ingredients. In fact, he strongly encourages a healthy diet and always considers factors considering nutrition while adding to or adjusting the menu. He also encourages students to “stop and eat”, to enjoy their meals. This is a great idea since “too many times, we’re always eating on the go” and we often forget to appreciate the deliciousness of our food.
Outside of the kitchen, Jeff enjoys all sorts of activities such as biking and both watching and playing hockey. He is also a huge Canucks’ fan; he has been supporting them for his entire life! He listens to a lot of country music as well.
One of Chef Jeff’s favourite moments at WPGA was when Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s most renowned chefs, came to our school to do some cooking demonstrations. He hopes to continue to spread the joy of cooking just like Chef Smith!
Pictured above: Chef Jeff