Many students have recently noticed a considerable uptick in the quality of food in the high school cafeteria. The food has become fresher, more delicious, and more abundant, which should not surprise anyone. For new Chef Manager Chris Faison, making great food is just par for the course.
While this is only Faison’s first year working as Chef Manager at the high school, he is a veteran in the kitchen. In fact, before he began working at the high school this past fall, he served as the Executive Sous Chef at Harvard Business school, a line cook and server at Capital Grille in Boston, and a pastry chef at Julian’s, a vegan restaurant in Providence.
Faison began cooking when he was in his teens as an outlet to keep himself busy and out of trouble. “At first I only wanted to be a baker,” said Faison. “But, as I kept cooking I fell in love with anything to do with food.”
Faison pursued his love for food in college, attending Johnson and Wales Culinary School. He then went to Northeastern University for his Graduate degree.
Since joining the high school in the fall, Faison has set out to vastly improve the quality of food in the cafeteria. “I want to make more home-cooked food,” said Faison. “Before I came a lot of food here was made out of the can or out of the box, but I don’t bring anything in, and I make everything from scratch.”
Faison really stresses the importance of variety in the cafeteria. “I want to make things you haven’t experienced yet,” he said. “I want to bring in new cuisines.”
“The food in the cafeteria has been so much better since he’s been here,” said Satvik Reddy ’17.
Faison also believes that experiencing a variety of foods will benefit students later in life. “When you go out into the real world, you will be prepared for different foods and know what they taste like,” he said.
“Everything is fresh and much less processed,” said fellow kitchen staff member Charlotte Kaufman. “[Faison] plays with different types of food as well to give students more variety, but also includes more vegetables to keep things healthy.”
Faison also places huge emphasis on connecting with his staff and working well with them. “I love my staff,” said Faison. “They are great people. I’m only as good as my staff and they make me great.”
His love for cooking is clear and infectious. “It’s a playground,” said Faison when describing the kitchen. “I get excited to make new things, and the food is getting better every day.”
Faison’s unmistakable passion for cooking reaches the students as well. “He does his best to make sure he gives the people what they want, and he cares about how their days are going in hopes that the lunches he gives them may make people’s days better,” said Cypress Smith ’17. “He notices and remembers everyone and constantly makes jokes.”
“Cooking is my passion,” said Faison. “I bring a spark. I cook my food with love. If there is no love, then what’s the point? That is my secret ingredient.”
“I take this very seriously,” he said. “I don’t cut corners. I don’t care if it is McDonald’s or the most high-end restaurant; I cook with passion. I want students to have the best quality of food that I can provide.”
–Zach Miller ’17 and Celia Golod ’17, Co-Features Editors