WESTFIELD – Tiger’s Pride Chef Phil Mucciarone was all smiles behind his mask as Westfield Technical Academy students delivered 300 Thanksgiving meals and 200 pies curbside to customers Nov. 24.
Tiger’s Pride is the student-run restaurant at the school.
Mucciarone said the 30 culinary students had prepared and cooked the meals, pies and breads the day before.
“This far exceeded what we thought we’d be doing,” Mucciarone said. “The community really came together and supported us.” He said even if people bought one pie, they did so saying they wanted to support the program; although some people bought anywhere from 10-20 dinners.
Hours for pickup were extended due to the overwhelming response. Mucciarone said the comment he was hearing most from the people in the vehicles lined up on Smith Avenue was relief that they didn’t have to cook this Thanksgiving.
The delivery went smoothly, with Chef’s Assistant Stacy Boisseau taking names and payment. Students brought in the slips to the well-ordered stations inside the doors, overseen by Chef Eric Rogers. Students also delivered the meals to the vehicles.
Mucciarone said the students had all taken a new Servsafe Takeout COVID-19 training course now being offered. Instructions for safely reheating the meals for Thanksgiving dinner were also handed out to customers.
The money raised from the Thanksgiving meal, which took the place of the Tiger’s Pride traditional Thanksgiving buffet, will go to buy food and supplies for the culinary department at WTA.