Celebrity chef Carla Hall visits Mandarin Immersion School to celebrate cafeteria staff

HISD’s Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS) was chosen as one of only four schools in the nation to be showcased in vendor Jennie-O’s School Cafeteria Takeover, an event that celebrates and honors school cafeteria staff.

Celebrity chef Carla Hall visited MIMS on Feb. 23, where she led cafeteria staff in a biscuit baking tutorial and engaged with MIMS students who were excited to welcome her with special games and performances. One student even brought Hall’s cookbook from home to be autographed. After the festivities, the cafeteria staff was treated to chair massages and a grazing table comprised of Jennie-O foodstuffs.

“The theme today is ‘gratitude,’” said Nutrition Services Area Manager Nicole Bean. “It’s a ‘thank you for all of your hard work’ to our staff.”

MIMS students taught Hall useful phrases in Mandarin, including “hello,” “goodbye,” and, of course, “eat!” Hall and the cafeteria staff were then treated to a song in Mandarin and accompanying dance performed by MIMS pre-K students.

The MIMS cafeteria staff are a shining example of the dedication and love that the HISD Nutrition Services Department puts into everything that they do, from making sure all students have access to three meals a day to putting smiles on the faces of the students in their lunch lines.

The gymnasium where the cafeteria staff gathered to eat and enjoy their massages was decorated with drawings and messages of thanks from the MIMS students in appreciation of all their hard work.

“They’re unsung heroes,” said Hall. “We don’t think about all that they give us and all that the meals that they’re preparing for students. A lot of the time, we don’t know all the work that goes into this food. I think that by coming in and supporting and celebrating them, telling them that we see them, we see all the work that they do, and that it’s because of them that students can learn.”

To learn more about Jennie-O’s Cafeteria Takeover Initiative, read their press release here, and keep up with HISD Nutrition Services on Twitter.