Morristown, N.J. (October 5, 2017) – "You need to discover what people are hungering for so you know how to feed them," says Father Leo Patalinghug.
"The cooking priest", whose legendary fajitas brought shame to celebrity chef Bobby Flay's rendition on Food Network's "Throwdown! with Bobbly Flay," came to CSE to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the College's Foods and Nutrition Department on October 3, 2017.
While deftly dicing butternut squash during a demonstration in Dolan Performance Hall, the Father spoke at length about the importance of feeding each other both physically and spiritually. He's the founder of the movement "Grace Before Meals" which encourages families to gather around the table.
"It's important to celebrate as a family, to put away the phones, leave work behind and focus on developing relationships with each other," said Father Leo of Baltimore, M.D. "A regular family meal reduces substance abuse, teen pregnancy, improves test scoring and reduces percentage of suicides."
As bacon rendered for the butternut squash and brandy creamy penne pasta, Father Leo continued to emphasize the importance of emulating Jesus Christ and always breaking bread with one another.
"It doesn't matter if your produce isn't organic or if you have limited access to food," says Father Leo. "Some families may feel bad that they're not be able to afford the highest quality of ingredients, but eating together is what's important."
This event, which was organized by the foods and nutrition faculty, staff and students, was attended by more than 250 people. Prior to Father Leo's cooking demonstration, undergraduate and graduate students of the program prepared several healthy dishes. These included Moroccan carrot salad, cauliflower and chickpea curry, savory kale and mushroom bread pudding, and black bean oatmeal brownie and pumpkin swirl.
Students also had poster presentations that discussed portion sizes, the benefits of meatless Mondays and simple tricks to enhance nutrition.
To see more of Father Leo, check our social media platforms @collegeofsainte.