Friday, October 7, 2011

The Volunteer Executive Chef

I was walking out of the StarShine library one day when I almost bumped into a gentleman I knew. He was carrying a bag full of a variety of vegetables fresh from the StarShine garden. His name is Rick Dupree. Rick is the executive chef at the Phoenix Ritz Carlton Hotel. You may be wondering why the executive chef at a very high end hotel was walking out of StarShine with our produce. 

I first met Chef Rick when our High School Girl’s Fashion Club had a luncheon at the Ritz Carlton.  When he heard that the girls were from StarShine Academy he came out to meet them and to offer a gift of a fabulous dessert. From that first encounter we had many lunches at the hotel and I felt comfortable inviting Rick to speak at our next meeting. Much to my surprise, he accepted. He also came to some events at the school, working with the StarShine kids in the kitchen.
And that is exactly why he was carrying vegetables from our garden. He came back the next day with those school grown veggies and prepared a delicious breakfast, with help from our kids, for all of our volunteers and supporters. He gave even more of his time teaching our students creative ways to use the vegetables they grow.
I often write about our volunteers and the gifts they bring to StarShine. I’m not sure I have ever thanked this busy man for his volunteer service at StarShine.  I know he has touched the lives of many of the students, and I know that some of those students will go on to become chefs.
Thank you Chef Rick Dupree. 
By Lois Jamieson
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