Lucy Bobb ’26
Are you tired of having chicken and hot dogs every day for lunch? What if I told you that you could do something about it?
Jonathan Santos, the new head chef mentioned that, “We have a SAGE app, and we also have a comment board. His daily checks of the comment board and app aid in determining future meals and they are both great ways to leave constructive feedback to continue to improve SAGE meals in accordance to what those in our community like to eat.
Santos continued that the App, “allows people to communicate on some things that they like or things that weren’t their favorite […] The more insight and comments that we get, the better we can serve this community.”
Replacing former food service director, Chef Delmi, Chef Santos has already hit the ground running, managing a team of six, feeding over 900 people, and ensuring kitchen cleanliness. Consulting nurses, dieticians, and Sage Dining, Santos — while mindful of invoices and payrolls — plans for months before carefully curating the menus with his team. Before coming to St. Andrew’s, Santos worked at Gonzaga College High School in D.C. Although he loves cooking Mexican food on Tuesdays, the students’ gratification is above all.
However, this is not the first time Santos is working for St. Andrew’s. He cooked for St. Andrew’s during COVID-19 and was on duty for large events. Equipped with experience, Santos “knew what was needed and what could be improved on here.” His first action was to ameliorate meal repetition by implementing a four-week cycle.
Some St. Andrew’s students maintain SAGE needs to revamp their menus because they are tired of eating the same meals every week. Sophomore Eli Flack would like to see a “better variety of food” and desserts at lunch. Other students harumph that SAGE at St. Andrew’s is very “repetitive” and “[does] not season the food properly.”
What is SAGE exactly? SAGE Dining is a catering company that prepares our school lunch. Under the notion that no two communities are the same, the corporation prides itself on having a different menu for each institution. The SAGE website states they make their food from scratch, believing fresh food enhances flavors. They also preserve food as much as possible using a technique called “Batch Cooking,” where they make their food in small batches, curbing extra food production and waste. SAGE chefs, like Chef Santos, customize meals for each school day while maintaining inclusivity for those with dietary restrictions.
Working at Gonzaga, according to Santos, is very different from working at St. Andrew’s due to the external environment and the number of people served. He no longer deals with as much traffic nor does he serve 1200 students any longer. When asked about his favorite thing about St. Andrew’s, he responded, “The light. At Gonzaga, if you have ever been there, it’s a dark cave. You go in, you don’t see the sunlight until you leave.”
He notes that while he guarantees tasty meals, the small kitchen inhibits grand menu expansions. “We are limited; if anyone has ever looked at our kitchen compared to the school, you’d be like ‘how are we producing what [we make] here?’”
As we now recognize the hard work the kitchen staff puts in every day to serve us, it is now imperative to express our appreciation by leaving feedback through comments and suggestions.