Author: Eugene DeCosse
Photo: Sean Collins
The cafeteria plays an integral part in the school community, from serving the students and teachers to being a meeting place for everyone in the school community. Behind the scenes, the Cezars Kitchen staff work to make everything in the cafeteria run smoothly. This year Cezar’s SMIS has welcomed four new additions to its staff.
The new Head Chef Stephen Wilson hails from the windy city of Chicago, Illinois and brings with him an extensive knowledge of the culinary arts. Having previously worked at Disney World, the Drake Hotel in Chicago, and for Hyatt Regency to name a few of his experiences, Mr. Wilson’s diverse background in cooking and preparing meals aids him in ordering, organizing, and cooking in the cafeteria. Mr. Wilson strives to deliver products that are handmade and healthy, as opposed to processed and packaged, and to teach our younger generation what constitutes real food and cuisine. Reflective of Mr. Wilson’s Chicago background are his favorite foods: pizza and steak. So far his experience with the staff at the Cezars Kitchen here has been great; however, the students’ neatness has not been up to par. According to Mr. Wilson, “St. Mary’s has the need for its students to be more self conscious in their serving habits while using the buffet.” Problems like inattentiveness in the weekly special line and cleanliness have definitely also been a problem for the cafeteria staff so far this year. Mr. Wilson has indicated a few changes in regards to student behavior that would help the cafeteria avoid excessive messiness: namely scraping off plates and trays, being more careful while self serving, and paying attention in the weekly special line. From this reporter’s perspective, we can do better, and hiding behind the excuse, “boys will be boys” just won’t cut it.
Working hand in hand with Mr. Wilson is new chef Peter Zickmund. Mr. Zickmund is from the Czech Republic and has been working at the Czech Embassy here in Japan for the last 10 years. He originally came to Japan to study cooking, and joined Cezars Kitchen because, “I don’t need to speak Japanese to work here (Cezars)”. Out of all the dishes Cezars offers, Mr. Zickmund recommends curry and pizza, and his personal favorite dish outside of the cafeteria is steak. To make the cafeteria run more smoothly, he would prefer students clean up after themselves better. He believes that with less time spent cleaning he feels the cafeteria staff would have more time to concentrate on cooking and delivering a quality product to the students. Outside of the cafeteria Mr. Zickmund enjoys listening to electronic dance music (EDM).
Another new member of the cafeteria staff is Ms. Edita. Ms. Edita has been in Japan for the last twenty years, but is originally from the Philippines, and worked at a supermarket before coming to Cezars Kitchen. She decided to come to Cezars Kitchen because she loves to cook and work in the kitchen, and although work has been busy she has enjoyed the nice and friendly staff. She, like Mr. Zickmund, recommends the curry. Outside of the kitchen, Ms. Edita continues to enjoy cooking as a hobby, and her favorite food is niku jyaga.
The last new member of the cafeteria is Ms. Tomo. Ms. Tomo is from Musashikosugi and previously worked as a hairdresser. At Cezars Kitchen she washes dishes and mans the register, and her favorite food at the cafeteria is the salad bar. She has commented that the “work is hard but everything is efficient and perfectly divided ”. Tomo enjoys shopping in her free time.
The four new additions to the cafeteria bring forth a diverse set of skills and experiences from a global background that will undoubtedly help the cafeteria continue their tradition of providing both students and faculty with quality meals throughout the school year. And if the pizza and apple crumble from earlier this week is any indication of what is to come, this will be great year for students to feast in the cafeteria.