SAA Lunchtime: More than a Meal
 
The bell rings and boys pour into the refectory. The smell of freshly prepared food welcomes them, calling their names from the old, round dining tables. Famished, they stand behind the chairs eager for permission to be seated, to dig in, and discuss the morning. Permission granted. The cadence of lunchtime begins. Chairs screech along the floor ready to oblige, and the room reverberates with chatter. Those looking for a substitution or addition to their repast, file into the soup & salad line. Already knowing what each child has come to get, Isaac hands them ready-made bowls filled with their favorite treats from the line -- olives, ham, banana chips, etc.  Across the room, Peter is exchanging secret handshakes with a few students. Boys seeking a vegetarian, gluten-free or dairy-free option race to Marc. Though not necessarily because they are anxious to see what has been prepared for them, but to share a story, or give him an update on the previous day’s happenings. And it’s not unheard of for the diners to break out into applause for yet another meal well-prepared, an expression of gratitude for our beloved culinary experts. This scene we at SAA call lunch, filled with...well, relationships, is far more than a meal. And boy do we miss it!
 
We had the opportunity to visit with Marc Garza, SAA’s Director of Food Services, to learn a little bit more about why we adore him and the kitchen staff. And though we can’t recreate the hum of the lunchroom or the smell of the spread, hopefully, this will satiate our appetites until we dine together again.

What do you miss the most about being at school or in the kitchen?
I miss preparing our fresh food daily for the boys and watching them grow throughout the year. I also miss being around my staff, cooking, joking, laughing, and preparing meals for the boys.
 
How is the rest of the beloved kitchen staff doing?
I reached out to all of them to see how they were holding up. They are anxious to get back to work and so am I. I know I can speak for all my staff; we really miss creating these dishes and putting smiles on the boys’ faces.
 
What is the most creative thing that you have come up with to pass the time at home?
The most creative thing for me would be showing my 13-year-old daughter how I would pass the time when I was her age and had no computers. Building indoor tents, using walkie talkies, and exploring the magic of how a ditch can take you from neighborhood to neighborhood quickly.
 
Besides being a loving father, how are you spending each day?
Spending quality time with my family in quarantine and doing odd jobs around the house to kill time. My wife is a nurse, so when she gets home we all cook together which we usually do anyway.
 
What have you been making?
We have been experimenting with different types of spring rolls, breakfast flautas, sushi, smoked pork tacos, grilled meats and different ways to prepare vegetables.
 
Do you have any tips for cooking with kids?
I have been showing my two children how to cook since they were old enough to hold a butter knife, one is 26 now and the other 13. Once I felt they were ready to advance, together we would prepare dishes from different parts of the world. I loved the look of accomplishment they had once we finished a dish. Some they liked and some they didn't. I think it is important that we as parents show our children how to safely prepare and try different foods.
 
What are the most popular dishes that you all serve at school?
As you know the boys and most everyone at The Academy loves Mexican food. The soups and salads are also a big hit. Believe it or not, I have over 80 menu ideas that I rotate throughout the school year along with a lot of the usual favorites. Crispy beef tacos, spaghetti with meat sauce, turkey cheese and bacon wraps, chicken flautas, poblano soup, tomato basil soup, cheese wonton soup, sweet-and-sour chicken, and of course PB&J’s are some of the most popular.

It’s okay to grieve the loss of experiences you were excited about having. Is there an experience or activity you are disappointed won't happen? If so, what is it? 
I miss talking to the boys and hearing their stories. I really miss all the secret handshakes and fist bumps that I give out during lunch. I am going to really miss preparing the 8th grade graduation breakfast.
 
In your video, you use a blender and a juicer.  Are there certain brands of each you prefer? 
At home, I use a basic juicer. It’s called an Alcok and the blender is an Oster. Of course, at school, we use a commercial style juicer called a Robot Coupe and a heavy-duty blender called a Waring Xtreme. 


Marc says that one of the most popular soups in the SAA kitchen is our cheese wonton. We’ve included the recipe so that you can try to make it at home. Download Recipe Card here

 
 
 
 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
 
Jennifer Colglazier is SAA's Admissions Assistant and Uniform Store Director; Former SAA Teacher. She is the mother of a teenage daughter, and has a son, who is an Academy 6th grader. 
 
 
 
Charlotte Turlington is SAA's Primary School Advisor. She has two daughters; a six-year-old and a one-year-old.
 
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