Platt Tech culinary students serve first Thanksgiving meal at new Milford school building

MILFORD — Platt Technical High School on Monday hosted a community Thanksgiving lunch, something the school had not done since 2019.

"This is the first time we are doing it since pre-COVID so this is a pretty big deal that we are doing it again," said Chef Daniel Dignon, head of the culinary department.

"I'm glad they were going to bring it back this year," said Nancy, an attendee of the Thanksgiving buffet who declined to give her last name. "Everyone has been gracious, and the food is delicious."

The school's culinary students served 40 people on site during Monday's buffet.

"We also sent 50 packaged dinners" to people outside the school, said Principal Justin Lowe.

Lowe said community and partnerships with Milford and the surrounding towns are essential to the student experience at Platt Tech.

"Many of the partnerships were lost during the height of the COVID pandemic, but as principal, I am committed to re-engaging with the community on a professional level and providing opportunities for students to work within the community and give back to the community where they can," Lowe said. 

Culinary students prepared all the food under Dignon's supervision. The menu included turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and pies.

"The students are 100 percent involved from preparing the food, setting up, serving the food, they do everything," said Dignon.

The event is Platt Tech's way of giving back to the community, and this is the first in the new school building, which opened in August.

"One of the biggest draws to having worked in the industry for 25 years for me personally was the humanitarian side of feeding people," said Dignon. "I think it's important to give back to the community, and it's important for the students to be involved in that.

"It's not just about making money all the time. It's also about taking care of one another," he added.

Junior Shyanne Ortiz and sophomore Eric Richardson said preparing and serving the food was a fun process.

"We actually got to experiment with new recipes and different ways to cook a turkey for this event," said Ortiz.

"Being able to feed those in need feels good," said Richardson.

The new recipes were a hit for those enjoying their Thanksgiving buffet.

"The food this year is the best it ever was. Everything is delicious, the stuffing, the green beans," said attendee Alice Jones. "This new group of culinary students is courteous and friendly, and it's appreciated. The new chef is also very nice."