Nationally recognized chef serves up savory, mouthwatering dishes to New Jersey high school students

Anthony Johnson Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Skilled chef serves up savory dishes to NJ high school students
Anthony Johnson has more.

ALLENDALE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A chef who started his career washing dishes now spends his days creating some pretty serious creations for the Allendale School District in New Jersey.

Diligence and dedication are two key ingredients that Chef David Bannister uses to cook fine cuisine for students at Northern Highlands High School.

Bannister's culinary skills have gained recognition from the National Black Chef's Association, and he been honored for excellence in the kitchen and is a member of the Hall of Fame.

"I was just shocked at the 38 years...38 years patient pays off," Bannister said.

Bannister's love of cooking came from his mother and grew while he was in school in Paterson.

He became hyper-focused on making delicious food.

"I go home and I practice it, I look at YouTube and I practice, and my family are the best critics you could have," he said.

The chef starts in the school cafeteria at 5:00 in the morning. He said he starts the day by grilling 450 pieces of chicken.

When Eyewitness News was there, he was preparing dishes that included 50 pounds of pasta and big pots of rice, all made with flavor and good feelings.

"You gotta love what you're doing -- you have to love what you're doing," Bannister said.

The cafeteria experience is much different than anywhere else because it is ranked in the top 100 in the country.

It takes a team effort to feed some 1,300 high school students every day.

The food is savory and mouthwatering. When it comes to variety, this cafeteria team turns the school day into a laboratory of delicious delights thanks to Chef Bannister's best.

"It's good to know when I create these menus, whatever I say I want to do, he can do it," Pomptonian Food Service Director David Pretino said.

ALSO READ | New high school in Queens will prepare students for careers in health care

Sonia Rincon has the story.


* Get Eyewitness News Delivered

* More New Jersey news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.