comforted and cared for

Mrs. Barlatier embraces the mission like a cheery drill sergeant. She pounds home the concept of kitchen organization in people for whom mise en place might as well be space shuttle repair. She empowers them to turn away produce orders filled with wilted parsley and moldy oranges and to use leftovers judiciously.

“If you would not eat it yourself, don’t serve it,” she admonishes.

She will not tolerate cooks who say students will eat only hamburgers or pizza or who complain that there is not enough equipment to cook the more complex recipes the district is trying to encourage.

“It’s not the limit of the equipment,” she tells them. “You can have only a steamer and make a sauce. You can have one burner and make a sauce. There is nothing stopping you.”

- School's Toughest Test: Cooking