October Kitchen - September 2019

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Meet the Team Behind Your Meals SEPTEMBER 2019

www.OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042


That culinary arts program was part of the Future Homemakers of America-Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA- HERO) Club. In the summer, we attended the national conference with other kids from all over the United States. FHA-HERO has a board of student leaders and Mrs. Dembeck got it into her head that I was a great candidate for state office. She encouraged me — twisted my arm, really — into running. I got the position and

When you have a really great teacher, you know it. They just click with you as a student and their influence stays with you for the rest of your life. I’ve had many great teachers, but there was one who made me who I am today: Mrs. Lucy Dembeck. I met Mrs. Dembeck back when I was a sophomore in high school. She taught at a magnet culinary arts school in Wethersfield. The school was only open to juniors

spent my junior year doing a lot of traveling and speaking in front of hundreds of kids.

and seniors, but my home economics teacher, Mrs. Ferrington, saw my passion for cooking and recommended I enroll. At that point, I already knew I wanted to be a chef, so I rearranged my whole schedule and started the program during the second half of my sophomore year. For the first year and a half, I was in the morning program with the juniors, learning all the basics of culinary arts. As a senior, I graduated to the afternoon program where students ran a restaurant out of an elementary school cafeteria. It was glorious. We learned everything about running a restaurant under the watchful eye of Mrs. Dembeck. She was by far the best teacher I’ve ever had. Mrs. Dembeck was a tough, no-nonsense woman. She was incredibly hard on us, but that’s how you knew she really cared. This was a teacher who honestly wanted her students to realize their potential and succeed, even if it meant she had to push them to do it. She certainly played a huge role in helping me realize my potential as a teenager.

The following year, Mrs. Dembeck decided it was time for me to run for a national office. I had to do a certain amount of campaigning and give a speech in front of thousands of people at the national convention in California. The thought terrified me. It was too much pressure and I felt like I was in over my head. A few days before the conference, I found myself standing in my living room, calling Mrs. Dembeck with tears in my eyes to tell her that I couldn’t do it. I was going to quit. “You can totally do this,” Mrs. Dembeck reassured me. “I wouldn’t have encouraged you to do this if I didn’t think you were capable. And I’m going to be with you through the whole process. Trust me. You have all the support you need.” Mrs. Dembeck’s encouragement was enough to make me risk taking the plunge and going forward with it. I went on to be elected as a

“When I say Mrs. Dembeck made me who I am today, I’m not exaggerating.”

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