New chef helps with healthy choices

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New Food Service Director, Mr. Jamey Patterson in the faculty dining room after lunch service. Cheyann Greirson '16

This year, members of the Convent of the Sacred Heart administration whipped up a recipe for a healthier community through adding a new course, Nutritional Chemistry and the Brain, and more recently, welcoming a new Food Service Director, Mr. Jamey Patterson.
Growing up in the heart of Manhattan, Mr. Patterson had access to the cultures and flavors of Chinatown, Little Italy, Astoria and other New York neighborhoods at his fingertips.
However, it was not until he left his desk job that he could pursue a culinary career. It was a passion that began when he was young, helping his mother cook Chinese food in the kitchen. 

New Food Service Director, Mr. Jamey Patterson in the faculty dining room after lunch service. Cheyann Greirson '16
New Food Service Director, Mr. Jamey Patterson in the faculty dining room after lunch service.
Cheyann Greirson ’16

Although Mr. Patterson is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) with 15 years of experience in the kitchen, cooking was not his first profession. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and worked as a temporary employee at Lehman Brothers in the World Trade Center for three months. 
Mr. Patterson’s time at the World Trade Center helped him develop valuable skills that he applies to his career as a chef.
“While I went into cooking because it was a passion of mine, my business background has been invaluable and is one of the things that has consistently set me apart from many people I have worked with,” Mr. Patterson said.
He believes that with the proper training, cooking is simple, but professional cooking is much more than just the food.
“Purchasing, planning, finance, and marketing, to name just a few, are all major factors in the success of any professional culinary enterprise,” Mr. Patterson said. 
Five years after graduating from the CIA, Mr. Patterson earned his Chef de Cuisine certification, from the American Culinary Federation. The certificate allows him to work as an executive chef in food service establishments.
After moving to Stamford, Connecticut two years ago, Mr. Patterson looked for a job that was both close to home and would present him with new and exciting challenges. 
“Sacred Heart filled both of those needs and connected with me on other personal levels as well,” Mr. Patterson said.
At Sacred Heart, Mr. Patterson strives to prepare healthy meals for students, using nutritious ingredients he would serve to his own children, Joseph and Maisie. 
“Instead of using butter, we can use olive oil.  We can reduce our use of white rice and replace it with brown rice,” Mr. Patterson said. “My goal is to provide the students with food they enjoy, while encouraging them to make healthy choices.”
Junior Aggie Ryan has seen the lunch program change over the 14 years she has been here at Sacred Heart. This year, she is happy that the school offers healthy and satisfying meals for lunch everyday.
“As an athlete it is always good to have a balance between protein and vegetables and I feel that the school has a very good amount of both,” Aggie said.
Although he is the first chef cooking during the construction with the main cafeteria closed and interim lunch serving stations throughout the school, Mr. Patterson is unafraid of challenges and excited about the new facilities.
“I look forward to overcoming the inevitable challenges, and then growing our foodservice program to make it worthy of all the time and effort that has gone into creating this wonderful new space for the community,” Mr. Patterson said.
– Cheyann Greirson, Staff Writer