By ANDREW WANG
In the age of coronavirus-induced online learning, CHS English teacher Dale DePalatis, equipped with an arsenal of food, kitchen utensils and culinary know-how, embarks on a quest to expand the taste buds of his students on his new YouTube cooking show.
These culinary episodes are products of his personal concerns that students might be bored at home during this time, as well as conversations with his son, Luke, who is home from college due to quarantine.
“He was telling me about how his teachers were being pretty boring because they’re just piling more work without any of the interesting contact you have while you’re at school,” DePalatis says.
So far, the veteran teacher has enticed his audience with his signature chocolate chip cookie recipe enhanced with fruit bits, oats and other ingredients; a couple of toast-based nutritious breakfast options; and two savory vegetable dinner dishes.
His students are offered extra credit if they follow the recipes in the video and record themselves sharing the food with their family. After releasing the first three episodes of the show, DePalatis has seen 50% to 60% of his approximately 150 students take this unique extra credit opportunity.
“It’s pretty cool because it’s not that hard and it’s something I would do anyways,” says sophomore Giana Buraglio, who treated her family to homemade scones and soup.
The teacher has also taken this as a chance to spend time with his son, who is helping DePalatis edit, direct and add humorous clips to the videos. In one of these clips, the teacher slips into a closet dressed in his teaching attire holding books and reappears donning an apron.
“It’s always been a gift to have him home,” DePalatis says. “As a parent with kids leaving the house, when you have all your kids under your roof, it’s a sense of community. I’m enjoying it.”
As another project, the teacher has been putting together this year’s Poetry Slam, an annual poetry contest for sophomores that will be held online for the first time.
“It was very important to me to try to make it happen,” DePalatis says. “I feel like some of the kids are missing out on some of the things they would normally do in the fourth quarter.”
Between the cooking show and the Poetry Slam, DePalatis has a lot on his plate. But for him it’s a piece of cake.
Those who wish to watch the cooking show can access the show here: www.youtube.com/channel/UCeWcmCPfCoqjvCOlYYeg6zw.