By Mark Rountree
STILLWATER, Okla. —
For the past 30 years, Jo and Brian Kahn have made the annual Meridian Technology Center Thanksgiving dinner part of their holiday celebration.
“It’s always been part of our Thanksgiving,” Jo Kahn said. “The students do a wonderful job preparing the food. It’s just a nice kickoff to the Thanksgiving time.”
The Kahns were among 1,400 people served Thursday during the annual community dinner, which has been held for more than 30 years at the technology school.
The dinner was planned and prepared by students in the culinary arts program at Meridian. Students were in charge of preparing and serving 400 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of ham, 300 pounds of mashed potatoes, 28 gallons of gravy, as well as numerous dessert items and side dishes.
Donna Cantrell, coordinator of the culinary arts program, said students are evaluated and graded on their performance, which includes proper dress and grooming.
“This is our big representation day at Meridian,” Cantrell said. “We are representing Meridian and the things that we are learning.”
Stillwater High School senior Makena Wininger was one of numerous culinary arts students who helped at the dinner. She said a career in the food industry is a possibility, and the training she is getting at Meridian is beneficial.
“I don’t know how many restaurants feed this many people at one time,” she said. “So the scale might be a little smaller, but as far as the preparations that have to be taken care of and the cooking that has to be done in the kitchen, (the instruction) is good.”