The HIVE Cafe Celebrates Mardi Gras by Hosting a Staff Luncheon


This past February, the HIVE Cafe hosted a Mardi Gras luncheon for East Haven High School faculty and staff. As one of the first luncheons held by the cafe, they aim to celebrate holidays as often as possible by making and serving food related to the holiday theme, as well as decorating the cafe room. Mrs. Heather Profetto, a leading mind behind the cafe explains the importance of the skills these events help students strengthen; “Students get to work in a commercial kitchen and they practice being servers, cashiers, bussers, and greeters, which are skills a lot of students don’t get in high school.” By allowing students to practice these skills, they become more prepared for real-life job possibilities and nourish everyday skills. “The luncheons help me learn to use communication and remembrance skills,” says senior Yaneliz Ortiz.

However, planning these luncheons is no easy job. It requires a lot of patience and creative thinking. Mr. and Mrs. Profetto need to consider holidays, themes, menus, decorations, and how to coordinate the cafe room with other classes that use it. “It takes the whole weekend to plan. It takes a lot of hard work because we have to figure out what we’re going to celebrate, what we’re going to cook, if we need to order ingredients, then the Hive cafe makes a themed menu, they decorate, and we use a whole class period the day before to set up.” Behind the scenes looks at the process show the amount of effort it takes to put together these events.

When talking with a student about their experience working for the Cafe, they explained there were many different roles to be assigned, creative aspects to be fulfilled, and food to be made. Yaneliz Ortiz worked as a waiter for the Mardi Gras luncheon and explained her role in the creation of this event as a student. “I did not make anything to be served but we did get to decide as a group what we wanted to put on the menu.” The entire menu was created by students who researched Mardi Gras in order to capture the culture of the holiday in the food and decorations. “The students research Mardi Gras and found out why they have the parades. Mardi Gras is French for ‘Fat Tuesday’ which takes place on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday which is when lent begins,” Says Mrs. Profetto. Yaneliz adds, “The food was culture related, we researched what foods they eat for this holiday and based the menu off of the foods they eat on those occasions.” The Mardi Gras luncheon in the East Haven High School HIVE Cafe provided faculty and staff with another successful event and delicious treats.