Head Chef Trang Chung and the rest of the Jesuit cooking staff makes over 400 pizzas a day while serving hundreds of students. They partner with local farmers and suppliers and provide students with fresh foods that put the body and mind in nirvana. They dedicate themselves to cooking from scratch, avoiding frozen or prepared foods high in fats, sodium or sugar.
“Things are different now than 10 or 15 years ago when everybody ate meat and potatoes,” said Chef Chung. “We make our menus based on the seasons, so, during the winter, we make harder grained stews, and, during the summer, we make light salads and fresh fruit.”
The cooking staff makes sure to have a differing lunch menu each school day, but they cannot do it alone. They make sure to have fresh ingredients locally sourced from U.S. Foods and another meat company in Sacramento.
Recently, since people have been going vegan or vegetarian for health reasons, Chef Chung has also taken initiative to have a more diverse lunch menu that accommodates growing health needs. Nowadays, the staff offers vegetarian options like bean and cheese enchiladas, sauteed summer vegetables and Spanish rice.
To make all the food, Chef Chung relies on his experienced staff. They get up at 6:00 AM and work until 6:00 PM, making sure the food and the ingredients are ready and prepared for the next day.
“If the cooks don’t know what they’re doing, then the food doesn’t come out good for the students,” said Chef Chung.
The staff aren’t the only ones with a commitment to good food. Graduating from the cooking school Le Cordon Bleu in 2005, Chef Chung devoted his life to cooking for students. He enjoys the smiles on their faces as they eat their food.
“It makes me happy to see young faces happy,” Chef Chung said. “When you guys are eating your pizzas, you guys are pretty happy, right? And that makes me happy too.”