Culinary arts student Jason Thomas of Riverhead is volunteering to make Thanksgiving dinners for seniors in need as part of Suffolk Community College’s Community Arts program.
“This is hospitality. It is what we do, we are chefs,” he said as he was carving up one of the roasted turkeys in the school’s kitchen early Wednesday morning.
As for Thanksgiving Day itself, he will be cooking at home for his family and at Jedediah Hawkins Inn restaurant where he is an intern.
This is the sixth year that students in the arts program — 40 volunteers and chef instructors — are cooking up turkey dinners for around 130 long-term patients and home-bound seniors for the Dominican Sisters of Hampton Bays. The ingredients were provided by the sisters and the volunteers roasted up 17 15-pound turkeys, 120 pounds of sweet potatoes, 100 pounds of mashed potatoes, 40 pounds of green beans and 80 pounds of stuffing. And of course gravy — five gallons of it!
Student chef Devon Solomon of Central islip said that the experience makes him feel good.
“I wish I could do something like this all the time,” he said. “It is definitely a humbling experience. What if that was me in need.”
Chef instructor Vinny Winn noted that “I like the feeling that we have students who show up for this for multiple years. And then the students feel good on Thanksgiving knowing that they have done this.”
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