A serving of love

Cafeteria Lead does more than just cook food


Rhys Cadwallader

Emilia Kasinec, the kitchen satellite lead, serves breakfast to students on April 5.

Clatter streams throughout the cafeteria. Around a hundred voices with gossip, jokes, and stories floating around, and a line of hungry students. Behind the glass at the front of the lunch line, Emilia Kasinec serves with a smile.

“Kids are the priority so of course, you gotta make sure that they have what they want and need,” she said.

Kasinec, the kitchen satellite lead at the cafeteria, puts her heart into her work, and has spent nine years learning to love the good she does for our school. That love shows in the lunches she prepares for students. She says that all of the food they serve, other than some canned goods, is fresh and organic. There are no preservatives in the food they order and make.

“That’s one of the main goals of the way we run our program is to have everything as fresh, organic, and local as possible,” Kasinec said. “So a lot of stuff we’re not getting from major chains. Something picked off the tree a couple of weeks ago is going to be a lot fresher.”

The locally sourced food is delivered by a service called What Chefs Want. Additionally, staff at a culinary center make fresh food before sending it to schools to be prepared for students.

“They got enough money and they built a brand new center,” she said. “This is their first year actually in that new center, and all the schools’ foods are made there, and they’re chilled and sent out to our schools where we can mix it together, heat it up, and serve it to you guys.”

Kasinec and her teammates in the cafeteria, as well as those in other schools, make sure to strike a balance when they make the food to keep it tasty for kindergarteners through high schoolers. She also works together with other schools when someone needs extra help.

“We actually, last week, had a fridge go down, where I had a lot of things spoiled,” Kasinec said. “Luckily some other people got me some dressings and other fruits and vegetables that we needed to make sure that we were able to get it to you guys. So we all work together to make sure everybody has what they need.”

She says the biggest effort is in making sure the food that goes into students’ bodies is healthy.

“It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I love seeing you guys, seeing the kids. It’s really great,” she said.